Council Briefs-April 9

A recap of some of the issues facing District of Sooke council.

The arts’ community in Sooke wants its own  centre and they want it to be the old Mulligan’s restaurant on Otter Point Road.

At the regular District of Sooke council meeting on April 8, Patrick Grove spoke to council as a representative of the Sooke Juan de Fuca Community Centre for the Arts Society.

In his presentation he said he represented hundreds and hundreds of Sooke area artists and their families. He wants the district to purchase the two-acre property and building. The asking price is $699,000 and he thinks it could be had for $600,000.

“We believe we can spruce it up and make it work,” said Grove. “Our proposal wouldn’t call for subsidies.”

He said the small lots which the district already owns could be used to finance the purchase of the property.

“It’s a nice property and it will benefit all of Sooke,” said Grove.

About 20 people in the gallery stood and clapped when Councillor Herb Haldane asked if there was support in the room for the proposal.

The Sooke Region Tourism Association came before council to speak of the significant strides they have made to promote tourism in the Sooke region. Their service grant application (for $23,000) was on hold until they produced all of the necessary paperwork.

Mayor Wendal Milne stated that council had set down some rules as part of the application process and SRTA’s application was still not finished.

Milne said council had no appetite to deal with an application which was incomplete.

“We have to be accountable to the taxpayer,” said Milne. He said that for SRTA to suggest that a required report is not applicable was insulting.

A number of community groups  that applied for grants received the nod from council. The budget for community grants, category A sits at $62,608 and council allocated $58,908.60.