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Council delegations have plenty to say

Bob Saunders came before council to speak about the economic impacts of triathlons. - Pirjo Raits
Bob Saunders came before council to speak about the economic impacts of triathlons.
— image credit: Pirjo Raits

At the regular District of Sooke council meeting on Dec. 12 four delegations asked to speak to council.

First up to the mic was Barri Rudolph from the CRD Stormwater, Harbours and Watershed program (SHWP) who presented the Stormwater Quality Annual Report to council.

Each year the CRD undertakes assessing stormwater quality and impacts of stormwater contaminants on the environment. One set of data is used for public health concerns, the other for environmental concerns.

Fecal coliform monitoring was completed in 72 stormwater discharges (including 14 watercourses) and 28 marine surface water stations. Four discharge locations were rated as high and these include Billings Spit, Whiffin Spit, Alderbrook Creek and Wright Road. The report suggested these areas be considered a priority when the district considers sewer service area expansions.

 

Margarita Dominquez, who calls herself artists’ rights advocate, came before council to talk and give a power point presentation about art freedom and her vision for an outdoor art market. She stated that, “artists do not want to be regulated by rules,” and she used the break away Impressionists from the 19th century as an example.

She said people were not buying original art and her idea, through the Sooke Program for the Arts, was to sell art, employ local youth and make Sooke an attraction.

 

Terrance Martin, representing the South Island Recreation Association brought forward correspondence and evidence that Harbourview Road was not a private road but a dedicated legal highway for two reasons: first, public money was spent on the road; and by common law use of the road by the public made it legal.

His reasoning for bringing this forward is to gain access to the areas past Harbourview Road which are now contained in the CRD Sea to Sea Park. Access to the park is limited to non-motorized vehicles.

“If the evidence supports the position that Harbourview Road is a legal highway, that staff immediately take the necessary steps to assert possession and control of the road and defend the district asset against encroachment,” said Martin.

He wants the district to instruct legal counsel to render an informed opinion, based on the research, by January 15, 2012 to the Ministry of Transport.

“The district road is worth several million dollars,” stated Martin.

 

Paul Regensberg from Lifesport/Sooke Triathlon came before council to request endorsement and support for three bids being sent off by Lifesport to host local, national and international championship events. Regensberg was not asking for any additional funds.

In 2011 the district spent $35,000 to market Sooke through TSN during the Sooke Subaru Triathlon. CAO Evan Parliament said $25,000 was given to TSN and $10,000 was spent filming a commercial. For the years 2011-2013 Sooke has committed to $50,000 for the triathlon.

Bob Saunders came forward to talk about the benefits of the Sooke Subaru Triathlon. He said it was a huge tourist industry and that it brought in $30-million to the communities who participate in the triathlons. Penticton saw $17-million in tourist dollars from their triathlon, he said.

He said he could eventually see Sooke bring in similar dollars.

Mayor Wendal Milne said he would direct staff to work with Life Sport on the three-year development of the triathlon. Council would support the concept in principal.

Council has also initiated a public open mic session at the end of the regular council meetings. Residents and taxpayers can come forward and speak their mind and ask questions of council and staff.

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