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Volunteer centre closer to reality

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The Sooke Family Resource Society is currently carrying out a survey to see if there is interest in a laundromat in Sooke. The idea is that any money earned from a venture such as this will go back into local non-profits.

To complete the survey go to: http://surveys.questionpro.com/a/TakeSurvey?id=2766179&rd=100207448

For some time there has been talk about establishing a volunteer centre in Sooke. Sooke CHI has been successful in obtaining a grant to hire a coordinator. The idea is to get all of the volunteers in Sooke under one umbrella organization thus making it easier to get the volunteers needed by the various groups in town.

The Victoria Foundation recently awarded a grant in the amount of $14,300 to the Sooke Region Volunteer Centre Committee. The funds, which will be administrated by Sooke Cooperative Association of Service Agencies (CASA), will be used to hire a part-time volunteer coordinator to work with local organizations and community groups who rely on volunteers to operate their services.

“We know from our 2010 community survey that most organizations in Sooke rely on word of mouth to recruit new volunteers,” said Jodie McDonald, volunteer centre committee member.  “We also heard that 75 per cent of the organizations in the Sooke region need more volunteers. We’re really excited about this next step forward in establishing a vibrant volunteer centre in our community. The committee has been working hard for two years, and it’s wonderful that the Victoria Foundation has recognized the value of this project. With this funding, we can take our work to the next level.”

The long range vision for the volunteer centre is to offer various volunteer services including a job bank, training centre and resource library, in order to support local organizations and make it easier for them to recruit, train, manage, reward and appreciate their volunteers.

“Many people don’t know that we already have a virtual volunteer centre operating online,” said Marlene Barry, chair of the Volunteer Centre Committee.  “Volunteer job listings are available on the Sooke Region Resources website, and we know that some organizations have already been successful connecting with new volunteers because of the website.”

The Sooke Region Resources website is at www.sookeregionresources.com. Any organization can post a listing for volunteers on the site by filling out the online form. For more information about the Volunteer Centre, or to get involved, call Jodie McDonald at 250-580-2252.

 

The District of Sooke council will work with staff to institute design standards for the district. Mayor Wendal Milne said that this was a priorty for him and he would like to see some cohesiveness when it comes to buildings, sidewalks and public spaces.

 

CAO Evan Parliament reported at the Jan. 9 council meeting that the district is following fiscal restraint and prudence and the five-year plan is to reduce taxes as close to zero as possible.

Two staff positions remain unfilled and the district is using the attrition approach.

 

The district is looking to renew 538 business licenses for a total levy of $52,325. The due date is Jan. 31, 2012.

It is hoped that the Five-Year Financial Plan will be presented to council and the public by March 26 and be adopted by May 14, 2012.

On April 23, council will have first, second and third reading of the Tax Rate Bylaw and third reading of the Financial Plan Bylaw.

 

By the end of January the engineering department will have the first design report for the new connector road from Phillips Road to Charters Road.

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