COUNCIL BRIEFS: District approves land purchase

Police probe mischief complaints; reserve fund for playing fields; more sidewalks

District of Sooke council has approved the Municipal Finance Authority to borrow $1.42 million as a short-term loan for the purchase of 2125 Anna Marie Rd.

The purchase will be spread out over five years and incorporated into the district’s five-year financial plan, said Brent Blackwood, director of finance.

The purchase also does not require a bylaw as it is over a period of five years or less. It can be paid off anytime.

Acting mayor Rick Kasper noted that for 2016, it’s coming from a surplus, so the district can possibly look at for future years into casino funds or some other capital-type funding.

The current five year variable rate is 1.37 per cent and requires a minimum of five principal installments.

 

Reserve fund set for new playing fields

Sooke council considered the use of a reserve fund of $400,000  for creating more playing fields in Sooke.

The money was set into a reserve fund for the purposes of either purchasing playing fields, upgrading existing fields or constructing new playing fields within Sooke, said acting mayor Rick Kasper.

There are no restrictions on where the money is spent.

Coun. Bev Berger suggested that council put $400,000 into the budget for artificial turf fields.

The reserve fund was set up as a result of moneys that the District received from Sunriver.

 

Police proble theft, mischief complaints

Thefts, mischief and Mental Health Act investigations took up most of the time of Sooke RCMP officers in February, Staff Sgt. Jeff McArthur wrote in his monthly report to council.

In February, local Mounties investigated 14 cases of theft from vehicles-under $5,000, 11 complaints of theft under $5,000, 12 Mental Health Act probes and 16 complaints of mischief.

Overall, Sooke Mounties responded to 396 calls or occurrences.

 

More sidewalks, new roads planned

At last week’s budget meeting, council approved a three-year sidewalk plan, as well as the resurfacing of Sooke Road west of Otter Point Road.

Construction on the sidewalks is expected to start sometime this year and finish in John Phillips Memorial Park next year.

Sidewalks are also in the works for Edward Milne Road, which is a high-traffic area for Edward Milne Community School for students travelling back and forth between the school and Sooke River Road.

Acting mayor Rick Kasper said council plans to finish off Brownsey Boulevard and get a start on the Goodmere Road extension this year as well.

 

Submissions wanted for mural project

The District of Sooke is taking part in the creation of an 8×8-foot mural to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.

A call for submissions has been issued for the design of Sooke’s mural, with a deadline for submissions of April 15.

Additional information can be found online at the Mural Mosaic Project page at sooke.ca/projects/mural-mosaic/ page and entry forms can be found at sooke.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Mosaic-Submission-page.pdf or picked up at Municipal Hall.

 

Daycare wants land out of ALR

 

District of Sooke council is backing an application by Steps to the Future Childcare Society to build a daycare facility in the agriculture land reserve.

The one-hectare property is located next to Saseenos Elementary School at 6038 Sooke Rd.

The society has operated in Sooke for many years, in various locations, and is looking at creating a “forever home” for its before-and-after-school care and pre-school programs.

If the Agricultural Land Commission supports the proposal, the society will need to apply to the district for a zoning change.

 

District studies composting options

Municipal staff has been directed by council to investigate opportunities for local yard waste compost facilities and programs.

The recommendation came from council’s climate change action committee.

“We want to look at different options, and give staff the opportunity to see what’s out there,” said Coun. Ebony Logins, a member of the committee.

Growing local food, a composting facilty and local food security initiatives are options that could be considered by staff.