Tankers and cargo ships ply the waters in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Council Briefs, February 4, 2015

A recap of some of the items on the District of Sooke agenda

Pirjo Raits

Sooke News Mirror

• At the regular District of Sooke council meeting, council recommended directing staff to proceed with the request to change the name of Cooper Cove to Cooper’s Cove. Cooper’s Cove is the common usage for the area in Sooke.

The request for the name change needs to go to the Geographhic Board of Canada to officially change the name.

In her submission to council, Sooke historian Elida Peers outlined the history of the name.

“Like most geographical features around Sooke Harbour, the cove at the northeast end of the Sooke basin was named for a crew members of HMS Herald when Captain Henry Kellett surveyed the waters in 1846. Cooper was a crew members, hence the name. So correctly, the little cove is spelled Cooper. The Historical Society long ago established a policy that we should respect the names of the pioneers, explorers, etc., by correct spelling, even if agencies such as MOT labeled them wrongly.”

After making the recommendation, Councillor Rick Kasper asked if the right-of-way owned by the District of Sooke could be named as a park.

• Council approved a one year extension to the Fire Protection and Suppression Service and Emergency Response Agreement between the District of Sooke and the CRD for fire protection in the Silver Spray Local Service Area.

The fee will be equal to 1.1945 per $1,000 assessed value. The CRD is proposing an increase in the rate, which brings the price that Silver Spray residents pay up to the level that other East Sooke residents pay.

Over time the annual fee has increased from $6,000 in 2006 to $32,550 in 2014. All the fees are paid only by the property owners within the Silver Spray lands.

In 2011 a survey was sent to the residents at Silver Spray asking them to evaluate three different options for fire protection.

While there was an even split to keep the East Sooke contract in place or to construct a Silver Spray fire hall, there was no interest from any of the respondents to become a volunteer firefighter.

Director Finance Michael Dillabaugh stated that after this year they will negotiate a new agreement.

• Council voted in favour of a recommendation to submit a resolution to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coast Communities. The resolution would reassert Sooke’s opposition to any expansion of oil tanker traffic through Coastal B.C. Waters. During the November election, voters were in favour of the question,

“Should the District or Sooke join other municipalities in renewing and restating its opposition to the expansion of oil tanker traffic through Coastal BC waters? YES or NO.”

Council voted in favour, with the exception of Councillor Kerrie Reay who was opposed. Council will send the resolution to AVICC along with the official vote tally on the non-binding question.

Reay made a statement before the vote saying she didn’t think both sides were listened to, meaning Kinder Morgan as well as the group who brought the question forward. Reay said her reluctance was the fact that it was one-sided and there was no debate. She said only 27 per cent of registered voters voted on the questions and asked if this really represented the people of Sooke.

“Sixty per cent of them didn’t vote,” she said.

Mayor Maja Tait said she is in contact with Kinder Morgan and will be attempting to set up a meeting to hear their side of the issue.

• The district is applying to the New Building Canada Fund for funding for the Grant Road Connector Project (Phillips to Charters Road portion). The district will fund the municipal share, eligible project costs and ineligible costs through Development Cost Charges and capital reserves or taxes.

Councillor Bev Berger stated that she would hate to see the district get this grant and then raise taxes by 15 per cent to cover the municipal portion. She asked about the money in the district’s reserve funds.

Director Finance Michael Dillabaugh said the project is in the five year financial plan and there wouldn’t be any additional cost apart from what’s in the five year plan. The grant is based on one-third federal share of eligible coast and then provincial funding matched to the federal funding. The district is responsible for one-third of the project costs. Once the grant is received staff will proceed with the project design, tendering and construction.

• There were several promotions within the fire department:

• Chaplain Gordon Kouwenberg, promoted to Assistant Chief in charge of Support Services

• Lieutenant Dan Poirier promoted to Captain of Station 2

• Lieutenant Vince Schutt promoted to Captain of Station 1

• Firefighter Cam Norris-Jones promoted to Lieutenant

• Firefighter John Hester promoted to Lieutenant

• Nick Gottfried promoted to Senior Firefighter.

In 2014 the fire department responded to 15 structure fires, 26 brush fires and 16 other fires. They were first responders at 73 motor vehicle incidents, eight rescues, and 33 hazardous conditions. They assisted the public 19 times, responded to 43 alarms bells and 102 burning complaints. First response calls totaled 380 during the year.

This Januaray is the busiest January they have ever had.