James Nelson

James Nelson

Saanich loans another $50K to Elk Lake rowers

The renovation campaign for the Elk Lake Boathouse received another $50,000 interest-free loan from Saanich Monday night.

Councillors unanimously supported the loan, which brings the total outstanding from the Victoria Rowing Society to $226,000 from the municipality. The society received a $250,000 loan from council in March 2010 and paid off $74,000 of it last year.

One Saanich resident urged council not to grant the loan, saying the society isn’t a good corporate citizen.

“They give nothing back to (Elk/Beaver Lake) park, they only give back to the rowing society,” said Gerald Klassen, who presented council with photos he says he took earlier this year of tire-tracked lawns outside the boathouse. “They’re taking a public resource and abusing it in such a fashion that they don’t deserve this interest-free loan.”

Councillors put forward a motion to send the concerns to the Capital Regional District, which is responsible for the park.

“The last thing we want to happen at a CRD park is for them to chew up the grass,” Coun. Judy Brownoff said. “They need to be respectful of that environment.”

The rowing society has until Nov. 1, 2014 to repay the interest-free loan.

kslavin@saanichnews.com