Bike park enthusiasts were out in force at council.

Bike Skills Park idea moves closer to reality

Council opts to fund preliminary plans for bike park at JohnPhillips Memorial Park.

The Sooke Bike Club left council chambers with huge smiles on their faces after council voted to give them $3,600 for preliminary plans and drawings for their proposed bike skills park.

Council had previously agreed to give them a Licence of Occupation Agreement and council was to reconsider signing it at council on Oct. 22.

Mayor Wendal Milne said he brought the issue back because he wanted to know more about the Sooke Bike Club and to solicit more input from neighbours through the public process. He wanted a financial plan and more idea through photos of what the park would look like.

“I can’t sign a legal document if I don’t know what I’m signing,” said Milne.

The bike club was in a situation where they needed a Licence of Occupation Agreement before they could continue with planning, The club rallied their forces and many of them carried placards which read “Yes to the bike park.”

Many spoke in support of the park with only a few coming forward in opposition.

What was brought forward was the fact that there was a bike park built at SEAPARC in 2006 by the CRD and it has not been used and is vacant.

Councillor Herb Haldane said the district should support the club on some kind of financial level. He said council had put $3 million into the public boat launch and should therefore support the bike park.

Coun. Bev Berger said they voted unanimously to support the park but said, “due diligence is what we forgot to do.”

Lorien Arnold, from the Sooke Bike Club, was pleased with the funding and said it was the only way the club could move forward. He was also surprised at the diversity of supporters who came out.

“When council decided to put money behind it, it means more public process,” said Arnold.

More open houses and public input will follow.