Council Briefs- May 21, 2014

Items on the May 14 District of Sooke council agenda.

The following items on the District of Sooke council agenda for May 14, 2014 were dealt with:

• Council accepted the 2103 Audited Financial Statements, the School Tax Audit Report and the Provincial Home Owner Grant Audit Report audited by KPMG.

The auditor, who spoke before council stated that the number of adjustments in the current year have been reduced and that was a good improvement for the district.

• Ellen Lewers brought the attention of council to the parking issues around the Sooke Community Hall and made the suggestion that cars not park on Eustace Road for any longer than two hours. Staff were directed to look into this issue and see what options were available.

• Council adopted Bylaw 593, Property Tax Exemption for Church Halls and Church Land Amendment for Knox Presbyterian Church, 2110 Church Road.

• Council gave third reading to the Open Air- Fire Protection Bylaw. There was some discussion on enforcement of excessive smoke. A definition of what constitutes “excessive smoke” will be sought.

• Council unanimously adopted Bylaw 594, Five Year Financial Plan Bylaw, 2014 and Bylaw 595, Property Tax Rate Bylaw. Councillors Bev Berger and Kerrie Reay stepped out of chambers for this vote. Changes were made to the engineering salaries and benefits budgets for 2015-2018. The 2014 property tax rate for residential properties is 2.856 per $1,000 of taxable assessment, business is 6.888 and recreation and farm properties are the same as for residential properties. There are also separate tax rates for the Vancouver Island regional Library, the Regional District and the Regional Hospital District.

• Council endorsed the district’s Infrastructure Grant application for $28,000 for software  for the Asset Management Strategy,

• A public hearing will be held to consider approval of a Modification Agreement to amend a covenant at 6669 Horne Road. The amendment is to delete an item which would have seen a erosion protection wall having to be built. A geotechnical report and geohazard assessment concluded such a wall was not necessary.

• Council directed staff to work with the Horseshoe Club and the public to determine an appropriate location for a 24-court horseshoe pitch and clubhouse at John Phillips Memorial Park. The original request was for .5 acres and has since grown to 1.6 acres of park land. Council decided there were too many inconsistencies and too much land requested. JPMP is only 7 hectares in size. The club wanted to utilize the area to the south close to the new connector road site.

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