The Capital Regional District board has approved recommendations from SEAPARC to go forward with a referendum this spring to buy the former DeMamiel Creek golf course, in Sooke.
The property, which contains 9.5 hectares, has been negotiated for a sale price of $1 million, which includes a cleared and manicured land, as well as a five bedroom home and miscellaneous equipment used to maintain the course.
In recent years, the property has supported a turf farm, and more recently a par 3 golf course.
Sooke Coun. Bev Berger said the initiative was propelled forward to address the future need for recreational space and facilities in Sooke.
“As Sooke continues to grow, it is essential for us to secure land for future recreation. Our soccer and ball fields are currently at capacity,” she said.
Juan de Fuca area regional director and SEAPARC chair Mike Hicks added that SEAPARC will put down $250,000, then the CRD will go to the binding referendum for the other $750,000.
CRD estimates the annual cost to service $750,000 in debt over 15 years will be approximately $61,000 per year, based on current market interest rate of three per cent provided by the Municipal Finance Authority of B.C.
“This is good market value and interest rates have never been lower,” added Sooke Coun. Rick Kasper, who also agreed on the move.
Whether it’ll remain a golf course is yet to be discussed, but Hicks said SEAPARC’S goal is not to buy and operate a golf course, that much is certain.
“The owner has made it very clear that it’s not going to be a golf course anymore,” he said. “Our goal is to go to the people in the spring and ask them if they support buying this land for the future children of Sooke.”
The referendum will be split 75 per cent Sooke and 25 per cent from the Juan de Fuca electoral area, based on population.