Borrowing bylaw gets another third reading

Change to wording leads to another council vote on bylaw

At a special council meeting on August 19, council rescinded third reading of Bylaw 603, amended it and gave it another third reading. The motions passed unanimously. Councillor Maja Tait was acting mayor and Councillor Bev Berger was  absent.

Bylaw 603, Community Centre Facilities Loan Authorization Bylaw, 2014, will ask voters if they favour the District of Sooke borrowing up to $1.5-million to construct a multi-use community centre.

The motion reads: “Are you in favour of the Council of the District of Sooke adopting Bylaw No. 603, Community Centre Facilities Loan Authorization Bylaw, 2014, which authorizes the District of Sooke to construct multi-use community centre facilities for the benefit of the community with the cost to the District of Sooke, including principal and interest on borrowing up to $1,500,000.”

The previous motion, which was approved at a previous council meeting, went to the Inspector of Municipalities, Ministry of Community Sport and Cultural Development for approval. The July 24 motion included the words, “… to construct new or renovate existing community facilities for the benefit…”

Acting Mayor Maja Tait responded by saying, “My understanding from discussions with staff (and their conversations with the provincial inspector) and yesterday’s meeting is that ‘construction’ would include ‘renovation’ as well as ‘new build’.  All options remain open as they were before, meaning the ‘intent’ with this wording is the same as the ‘intent’ behind the previous wording.”

It is estimated in a staff report, dated July 24, 2014, that if the $1.5-million is borrowed in 2015 over 30 years, the impact on taxes will be 1.3 per cent, which is approximately $15 per average property. If borrowed over 10 years, the impact on municipal property taxes would be 2.9 per cent.

Council had budgeted $50,000 per year for 2014 and the next five years to go towards the construction and operation of the centre. The $1.5-million would go towards purchasing property, design and construction of a building.

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