District of Sooke

More money needed to fix storm drainage problems

Sooke development services director seeks $300,000 in this year's budget

Sooke politicians have backed a call for more funding to clear drains and gullies in a bid to prevent flooding.

The funding would allow District of Sooke to unhinder the waterways and upgrade drainage systems as needed.

Several councillors backed a call from development services director Rob Howat for a comprehensive drainage program estimated at $300,000.

“Over the past several years it has become clear that through the passage of time older road culverts, drainage rights of way and other older facilities have deteriorated to a point where significant maintenance or replacement is required,” Howat said.

The problem compounded recently when the district was forced to replace culverts when they collapsed due to years of deterioration. Regular maintenance was not carried due to other budget pressures.

Howat said there is also the problem of property owners ignoring drainage patterns through private property and working within those drainage corridors, which can cause a negative effect on downstream components.

“All of these compounding factors have left the District of Sooke with a number of drainage issues that need to be addressed before significant damage occurs,” Howat said.

High on the priority list for repair are areas on Sooke River Road, Eakin Drive and Atherley Close.

“Sooke has traditionally bad areas that never seem to get fixed,” said Coun. Kevin Pearson.

Coun. Bev Berger echoed Pearson’s concerns pointing out that Sooke River Road is in “horrendous shape.”

“It would be nice to see some upgrading issues dealt with concerning our roads,” she said, “so we don’t find ourselves in a more dire need when one side of the road washes away.”

Both Pearson and Berger said a proactive approach to the problem was a good solution and backed support for Howat’s plan.

The $300,000 request will be considered at a budget meetings this month.