Letters: Stop selling Sooke’s assets

Public boat launch is a public asset and should not be run by others

Why is Sooke council so adamant in letting some group run the boat launch? Who everĀ  council decides to operate it will make nothing but profit. They have no expenses to pay for building it and probably no expenses for repairs or maintenance. A really big unfair advantage over any company that is still paying for their building and development costs.

A couple of the councillors have stated we could not have a free boat launch as Sooke has to recover the costs associated with the land purchase and the building costs.

Another councillor stated that part of the grant process was that Sooke had to hire one person on a part time basis for the boat launch. Either, these councillors lied or they have no idea what they were talking about. You would not hire someone part time to work on something that someone else is running, and you will never recover close to the million dollars by collecting 10 per cent or $1 per launch.

Council has also stated there is still $3,000 – $4,000 of work that still has to be done. There is still the issue of inadequate parking to address. How is this all going to be paid for with 10 per cent of the revenue from the boat launch? Not a chance of it happening.

Why does Sooke not operate the boat launch? Close to 90 per cent of the revenue would be profit and could pay down the debt for the boat launch, could be ear marked for charities or put it into general revenue.

Keep the daily launch fee for non-residents or for the occasional user. For the residents of Sooke, (with proof of residency) there could be a monthly pass available to purchase or a yearly pass. These would be available for purchase at the town hall.

As people are already working here the cost would be very minimal to print out a colored paper pass. This pass would be displayed on the dash of the vehicle while at the boat launch.

The yearly passes would only be on sale for January and February allowing council to add this income into the yearly budget. One employee from Sooke could go to the launch and retrieve the day passes once a day.

Sooke has already sold off a lot of the parks and green space to developers and will probably give a large park area to a private group to use as a bike course and now they want to give away the boat launch we paid for. Giving away our assets has to stop.

The residents of Sooke have to stand up and be heard before everything is given away or sold off. Write the councillors and mayor. Do something to be heard. They are supposed to be working for us, so let us take charge and and stop them before it is too late.

D. Widrick

Sooke