Discussion on the future roundabout in the center of Sooke was discussed at the regular District of Sooke council meeting on March 12.
CAO Evan Parliament gave a brief summary of the project, which has yet to be started as there are negotiations underway with property owners who will be impacted by the construction of the roundabout.
Parliament stated that land dedication was needed from two properties across from Evergreen Centre.
The roundabout would be built using funds from the gasoline tax, an ICBC grant and Sooke taxpayers. Parliament stated that the taxpayers would be responsible for $30,000. Money to purchase land needed would come from non-parks land reserves (75 per cent) and land dedication (25 per cent).
Mayor Wendal Milne called the project “the big elephant in the room” and said it was necessary to have public input. A public information session should be held at the same time as the draft budget information session.
Councillor Rick Kasper stated he didn’t like the idea of the district hiring consultants from outside. He said money earmarked for consultants should go back into the project.
Parliament said a full tender would go out for the construction.
Discussion followed on the disruption to the town once the roundabout construction starts.
“Businesses will be impacted,” said Coun. Herb Haldane. “It’s going to be a nightmare.”
Others spoke of the beautification of the town core and creative solutions to minimize the impact of the construction.
Coun. Kevin Pearson said the project had good aspects but he was concerned over the cost.
“There is some scary elements to it,” he said referring to underground work required.
Mayor Milne said that the roundabout was consistent with the Official Community Plan and they approved the project in principle in the budget.
The cost of the roundabout is estimated to be between $450,000 and $600,000.