Letters: prioritize needs, not wants

The issue of the Sooke Bike Skills Park carries on

We ask that on September 23 you come to a final decision on this bike park issue. What you voted on March, 2012 is not what you see today. The drawing from 2006 showed all the possible features that were suggested for JPMP. We are now looking at a completely different proposal. The quoted “Zero Cost” to taxpayers is now upwards of $300,000 which could include many additional costs.

This will be a continuing money pit for the district and an added burden for struggling taxpayers. The proposed bike park is definitely not a ‘sliver’ as identified by the bike club executive. With the future road alterations on Otter Point and the unknown future of the old Mulligan’s property and possibly more parking stalls, not a lot of useable area is left. In a normal winter, it is under water or very wet as are the slopes. Looking at the “overall placement” picture on DOS website shows the huge bike park area.

Only letters and emails signed by residents who live here and/or pay taxes in Sooke should be considered by council when making decisions. Everyone is entitled to voice their opinions but council is elected by the people of Sooke only. We respect you have been trying to get our financial house in order. Do not drop the ball now.There are many struggling young families and seniors living here. Hundreds use the Sooke Food Bank and Crisis Centre on a regular daily and monthly basis and it is a fact that children are going to school hungry. Please prioritize the needs from the wants.

If anything positive has come from all this, perhaps it is renewed awareness that JPMP is a valuable community park/green space that should be preserved for future generations. Dozens of residences and neighbourhoods close by JPMP would be affected and need to be respected. We enjoy seeing young families and all ages using the park.

There is a variety of areas/trails for bike riding listed on the Sooke Bike Club’s website. SEAPARC’s bike park is already there and although it has some problems, they can and are being rectified. Work with what you have and try to make it better.

Larry and Jeanette Umbach

Sooke