Concept plan for proposed JdFEA building.

JdF residents fill out survey

Comments sought on proposed building for Juan de Fuca Electoral Area planning

The idea of the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area owning its own building first surfaced in mid-June, but at the time it was just an idea proposed by regional director Mike Hicks.

The case in point is the rent the JdFEA is paying for the use of the office space in the building on West Coast Road. Hicks thinks it would be more cost effective to own their own building. He presented the proposal for a 4,000 sq. foot building to senior CRD staff. The building would be located along Otter Point Road at the entrance to William Simmons on two lots.

“The total cost of land and building is estimated to be 1.3 million dollars which would, in my opinion, result in short term savings in relation to rent and a tremendous long term investment for the residents of both Otter Point and the Juan de Fuca. Our payment would be less than our rent and we would be leaving the next generation a debt free facility,” stated Hicks in the OPSRRA newsletter.

With that in mind, the Otter Point and Shirley Resident Ratepayer’s Association (OPSRRA), is conducting a survey to hear from the residents of the unincorporated area west of Sooke.

The building currently being used on West Coast has been sold. The JdFEA has been paying $117,000 rent per year plus utilities which amount to $17,000 for hydro. The lease expires on Dec. 31, 2013.

The reasons for considering a new building include limitations in the present building which include not enough office space, a small meeting room, basement storage, two bathrooms and inadequate parking. The concept plan is available for viewing on the OPSRRA website, click on survey then click on Proposed Services Building Drawing.

If a new building were built, the rent would initially be 60 per cent less, decreasing over the years to being rent free.

The advantages, apart from lower rent, would meet and address all of the current limitations.

The survey, which is on the OPSRRA website at: www.opsrra.ca and click on ‘survey.”

“We are trying to make people aware and have the opportunity to make a comment,” said OPSSRA president Arnie Campbell. “We’re trying to make the community aware this is a proposal. We think it has merit and we are doing a community service by making sure the information is distributed.”

The questions being asked are:

• Should the cost of borrowing $1.3 million to build a JdFEA services building go to referendum?

• Would you support the idea of owning a building if the cost was about the same as renting?

• Is locating the building in the JDFEA an important consideration?

• Do you support the idea of adding an 80-set meeting room to accommodate community meetings?

He said that although their association is running the survey, anyone who goes to the survey will be anonymous. They will share the information they gather with director Mike Hicks.

“Whether it is a go or a no go, we’ll know in the next few months,” said Campbell.

Residents of the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area are asked to complete the survey by the end of August.