Trinity Western University owes Langley Township more than $1 million for its portion of the Langley Events Centre, but plans to start paying off the debt soon.
TWU responded forcefully to an article in the Vancouver Province that called the university "financially troubled."
The article talked about the controversial University District proposal, as well as about the cost of TWU's participation in building the LEC. "In late 2008 and early 2009, the university did face some short-term fiscal challenges, as did many universities and other organizations," said TWU's statement. "However, re-structuring in 2009 and 2010 placed the university in a stable financial position with a healthy outlook for the future."
When the LEC was being planned in 2007, TWU became one of the Township's partners, along with the Langley School District and the Langley Gymnastics Foundation.
TWU's portion of the construction was $3.5 million, according to Township director of finance Hilary Tsikayi.
This share was characterized as a "commitment" rather than a debt, and TWU didn't pay anything until last year.
In 2012 Trinity gave the Township a 51-acre property valued at $2.7 million, said Tsikayi.
The land is one of the properties to the northwest of Glover Road, across from the TWU campus, and behind the properties fronting Glover, said TWU vice president of business operations Derek Dawson.
The land was university owned for some time, then was sold to a private individual in the late 2000s, only to be donated back to TWU and given to the Township last year, said Dawson.
Dawson, in the job since 2012, said he couldn't comment on how the university's debt to the Township was originally set up. However, he confirmed there is to be a plan to pay the remainder of it.
The sale of the land left $800,000 to be paid. Since the construction of the LEC, interest on the principal has accrued at a 3.6 per cent interest rate; the total amount owed is now $1.129 million.
In TWU's financial statements for 2012, the money owed to the Township is recorded as to be repaid over 17 years starting in 2015. The university contracted to use the LEC for 20 years.
The school district's share of construction has been paid, said Tsikayi, and Langley Gymnastics Foundation set up an annual payment plan. At the same interest rate as TWU, the foundation has $567,000 remaining to pay of an approximately $1 million commitment. It should be paid by 2029.
@ Copyright 2013