Open houses for recreation vote begin Monday

SEAPARC hopes to buy former DeMamiel Creek Executive Golf Course for $1 million

Sooke and Juan de Fuca residents are invited to attend the Capital Regional District’s SEAPARC land acquisition open houses, beginning Monday (April 4).

SEAPARC is seeking to buy the old DeMamiel Creek Executive Golf Course for $1 million, and it will spend $250,000 from its capital reserve fund to help buy the property. Voters will be asked to finance the remaining $750,000 over 15 years at a fixed rate of approximately three per cent.

Regardless of which of the five information sessions they attend, voters in Sooke and the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area will be asked:

“Are you in favour of the proposal by SEAPARC (Sooke Electoral Area Parks and Recreation Commission) that the Capital Regional District board adopt Bylaw No. 4052, Sooke and Electoral Area Recreation and Facilities Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 1, 2016 authorizing the Capital Regional District to borrow an amount up to $750,000 for the purpose of purchasing the 23-acre 6518 Throup Rd. property for the future development and enhancement of recreation services for the residents of Sooke and Juan de Fuca Electoral Area. Yes or No?”

SEAPARC manager Steve Knoke said the information sessions are not in the format of  a town hall meeting with a microphone and people sit down to ask questions.

“It’s more informal than that. There will be people walking around, looking at maps, that type of thing,” he said, adding that there will also be displays with information regarding exact numbers of cost and size of the acquisition.

It will also be an opportunity for the public to sit down face to face with the powers that be and help decide which direction to take.

“Whether people need more information on certain things or need more clarification on something, it’s just another avenue to make sure that we’re staying in contact with everyone,” Knoke said.

If the referendum is approved, Sooke taxpayers would see an extra $8.41 on their annual property tax for a home valued at $400,000 and $4.80 for homes in Juan de Fuca.

The current tax rate is projected to fund the payment of the land and continue to build the reserves towards the expansion of the SEAPARC Leisure Complex, which will include a fitness and weight room area, in 2018.

The land purchase is necessary to secure land for future recreation, said Mike Hicks, Juan de Fuca Electoral Area director and SEAPARC chair, adding soccer and ball fields are at capacity.

Hicks added that he will be present throughout the information sessions to help answer any questions.

Voters head to the polls to vote on the referendum on April 30.

Want more info? Go online to crd.bc.ca/seaparc-land-vote.

 

Public Info Sessions

Monday, April 4 – Juan de Fuca Planning Services Office, 7450 Butler Rd., 6 to 8 p.m.

Wednesday, April 6 – Shirley Community Hall, 2795 Sheringham Point Rd., 6 to 8 p.m.

Thursday, April 7 – Port Renfrew Recreation Centre, 6638 Deering Rd., 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Monday, April 11 – East Sooke Community Hall, 1397 Coppermine Rd., 6 to 8 p.m.

Monday, April 18 – SEAPARC Leisure Complex, 6 to 8 p.m.

Advance Voting – April 20 and 27 – East Sooke Community Hall and Sooke Community Hall, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Voting Day – Saturday, April 30 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.