Last Monday’s April 27 council meeting was as filled up as the agenda itself – here are the highlights.
Food Bank gets funding boost
Kim Metzger and Mike Thomas, the main co-ordinators for the Sooke Food Bank, approached council last Monday with a request for additional funds – Metzger noted that the food bank had nearly closed down in April, but was assisted by the food bank organization in Sidney. Council then carried a motion to cut the cheque for $6,000, until several councillors proposed to add an additional $2,000 into the mix. As such, council eventually carried the motion to provide the Sooke Food Bank with a total of $8,000.
Sooke Fine Arts Society gets green light for mural
Council carried a motion to allow students and staff from the Sooke Fine Arts Society to paint a mural on the existing pump station located near the boat launch behind the Prestige hotel. Sarah Bradley, manager for Sooke Family Services, said the mural will be completed by grade 10 students, as well as numerous artists from around Sooke. Some modifications will be needed, such as relocating a parking meter sign and a pay box for the parking meter itself. Though the project is not funded directly by the District, council suggested possibly helping with purchasing the initial base coat.
Enforcement of boulevards bylaw
Sooke resident Jared Sklepowich brought to council his concern regarding the removal of his personal plants/trees from his front yard by the municipality – whereas others, he says, such as his neighbours, are reportedly left unscathed. The issue stems from bylaw 803-11, which states that no one is allowed to modify, or build upon property owned by the municipality. While the matter remains in limbo, Council concluded that anyone who utilizes municipal property for their personal use such as planting trees or personalizing/adding to the improvement of their own property, are automatically putting themselves at legal risk, as well as risking their plants/trees being removed.
Fire Department Review
The District carried the motion to find a specialist – notably someone with experience in fire departments – who can re-evaluate the Sooke Fire Department’s Service Review regarding new equipment and additional staff. The budget for this was set aside to $30,000, though council has yet to determine who it will be that will carry this forward.
New Democrats deliver
One year after becoming Leader of the Opposition, John Horgan heads a united and energized B.C. New Democrat caucus.
“B.C. families need a break,” Horgan said. “I hear this everywhere I go from people in their workplaces, in their schools and in their living rooms, in every region of British Columbia.”
In the legislature and in communities around the province, New Democrats have won a series of victories for families struggling to make ends meet under a Liberal government that puts its friends and insiders first.
“Our New Democrat team has stood up for the people of British Columbia and gotten them some real relief,” Horgan said. “Some people say we’ve found our stride and we’re hitting home runs, but I know we’re just getting started. I am determined that we will continue to make a difference in the lives of young people, families and seniors in B.C.”
New market season
The Sooke Country Market is set to open for its 21 season on Saturday May 9. The market, which takes place on Otter Point Road across from Eustace Road in downtown Sooke, is a rain or shine event that operates on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. right through into October.
Sooke region farmers will unveil their fresh grown produce, plant starts, seeds and preserves, artisan bakers will tempt with delicious home baked breads, pastries and nourishing snacks. Fine artists and craftsmen enhance the festive market with body care products, unique handcrafted jewelry, knitted creations and unique West Coast inspired art.
Farmers’ markets have become the summer heart of many small communities, providing a bounty of locally grown food from organic farms and small market gardeners.