District planning for your future
Public Input Session
May 20, 4 to 7 p.m., Sooke Community Hall Dining Room.
One of council’s strategic priorities has been community planning. Council Kasper, as the Council Seniors’ liaison, and I have been working over the past several years with a number of groups including the seniors on building options. It has become clear that Sooke is in need of a community building that would accommodate seniors, youth, arts groups and a number of service organizations.
Council and staff will be working with the Vancouver Island Library Board over the next months putting out a Request For Proposals to construct a new library in Sooke. Council believes that this would be an opportunity for the district to move forward on a community building in conjunction with the library.
The district has engaged the Sooke Region Community Health Initiative (CHI)to conduct community engagement over the next six weeks to get input from the seniors, youth, arts, service clubs and the general public on what type of building is needed.
Council has budgeted $50,000 this year and each of the next five years to go towards construction and operation of a building. In addition, the district would have to borrow funds to construct the building. It is anticipated the loan would be repaid over more than five years so it would need to go to referendum for approval. With the elections coming this fall the question for approval could be included on the ballot at no additional cost. Approval of the voters would ensure that the next council can get on with the project.
I have been working with Councillor Kasper, Chair of the Finance Committee, to bring a formal proposal to council in the next few weeks to get approval on this project. As details of costs and tax implications become available we will keep you informed.
Please attend the first public input session and watch for further sessions.