CRD: Museum funding more secure

With the backing of Mayor Janet Evans and Juan de Fuca Area Director Mike Hicks, the Sooke Region Museum is now looking at a brighter financial picture.

With the backing of Mayor Janet Evans and Juan de Fuca Area Director Mike Hicks, the Sooke Region Museum is now looking at a brighter financial picture.

“Mayor Evans and I decided to put the mechanism in place if an increase in funding was needed,” said Mike Hicks, area director for the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area.

At the regular Capital Regional District Board meeting on January 12, an amendment was passed which will increase the requisition for the museum.

Two years ago a referendum was held authorizing a operating fund for the museum but inflation factors were not taken into account.

A report states the exisiting bylaws provide no flexibility to absorb the inflationary pressures of operating the Sooke Region Museum. The proposed bylaws provide for a maximum requisition of the greater of an annual fixed amount of $78,650 (an approx. five per cent increase) or a variable amount based on a tax rate of 0.26 applied to the property values in the service area.

Not only is the District of Sooke applying for an extension for federal funding for the public boat launch, but so is SEAPARC and Port Renfrew for their individual projects. The Capital Regional District Board voted on applying for a grant extension at its January 12 meeting.

SEAPARC Leisure Centre Complex is currently undergoing an upgrade and needs an extension, from the March 2011 deadline, to accommodate the contract holdback on the $1.2 million project. The Infrastructure Stimulus funded project through the Capital Regional District received $800,000 from the province.

The Port Renfrew Fire Hall Community Centre needs an extension in order to complete the roof which cannot be done due to winter weather conditions. The $520,000 Port Renfrew project was funded by the federal government ($173,333) and the province $226,667). Engineers confirm that both projects can be completed by October 31, 2011.

Many of the funded projects across Canada are facing challenging circumstances that prevent them from meeting the March 31, 201 1 deadline, including Sooke’s public boat launch.