M.D. grants Gilwood Golf Club tax relief for second straight year

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Over strenuous objections from one of its members, M.D. of Lesser Slave River council last week voted in favour of cancelling the tax levy for Gilwood Golf Club for a second year. Council supported councillor Becky Peiffer’s motion by a 4 – 1 margin.

“That’s just wrong, wrong, wrong,” said the lone dissenter, councillor Robert Esau, who asked for a recorded vote.

Esau’s objection was thus: Given that council had denied an application for forgiveness of the penalty on a late Flatbush tax payment last year, and that the Flatbush business in question is – in his opinion – far more important to its community than the golf course is – denying one while granting the other is unfair.

Councillor Jeff Commins’ observation that Gilwood is a not-for-profit venture cut no ice with Esau.

“We have a private golf course in Flatbush,” he said. “(They) never come and asked for anything.”

Reeve Murray Kerik said: “I don’t like doing it. I understand why we do it.” He mentioned various other recreational, not-for-profit groups the M.D. supports.

“No recreation makes money,” said Commins. “If we want them in our community we’d better be willing to support them.”

“I believe highly in this,” said Peiffer, confirming her motion after council took a break while staff wrangled copies of the Gilwood financial statements.

The statements show an organization making diligent efforts to get back in the black, while paying down its debt. It was well on its way to a good year in 2018, when a wind storm set it back, due to trees being knocking down all over the place. An early-ish start to the golfing season this spring should help.

Per the recommendation, Gilwood will not have to pay $5,330.71 in property taxes to the M.D. this year.

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