Contracts and DCCs concern council

Issues brought forth at Sooke council meeting demand further attention

Council will be looking at and getting a legal opinion on the agreement between Island Advertising and the District of Sooke.  The agreement allows Island Advertising to place benches and garbage receptacles  along Highway 14 in Sooke.

At the regular council meeting on Aug. 13, Acting Mayor Maja Tait stated she “would like to see the benches leave and be replaced with something more appropriate.” She said the benches were functional but had a lot of advertising.

The agreement is for five-years and Michael Dillabaugh, manager of finance, said there was no clause to amend and any changes would have to be mutual.

The benches and garbage containers are the property of Island Advertising and do not belong to Sooke.

The original agreement was signed by former CAO Evan Parliament and former Mayor Janet Evans before it came before council. Council did not pass a resolution for the contract. It is felt that a legal opinion will put the district in a better bargaining position.

The issue is the cost of trash collection. The district spend $4,000/year to empty the garbage receptacles and receives only $700/year.

Councillor Bev Berger said she would like to see this contract go out to a RFP (Request for Proposal).

Council voted to amend Bylaw No. 408 in regard to the Development Cost Charge component.

Councillor Rick Kasper, chair of the Finance and Administration Committee, said this came as a result of information presented to council regarding the cost implications of the current bylaw. It was not understood that any waived DCC would be paid by the taxpayers.

“The cost to the general taxpayers is not in the best interest,” said Kasper. He said it was falsely assumed that new occupiers of new developments would make up any shortfall, but the DCCs have to be paid in the current year by the current taxpayers.

“We need to find almost $40,000 in deferred DCCs,” said Kasper.

Councillor Herb Haldane said he had no idea that it would cost us (the district) money to give breaks to a developer.

“The only thing we can defer or get rid of is the amenity policy,” said Haldane.

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