A gaggle of geese Greater White-fronted Geese were spotted on the grounds of Ayre Manor on January 24. They seem to come back to the same spot year after year. They have one of the largest ranges of any species of goose in the world.

This and That, January 28

A selection of items of interest to Sooke News Mirror readers

  • Jan. 28, 2015 7:00 a.m.

Grants in Aid

The Electoral Area Services Committee made a recommendation to the CRD Board to approve three Grant-In-Aid applications in the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area.

Regional Director Mike Hicks brought forward applications from three elementary schools in  Sooke which are on Highway 14.

The applications were for grants for crossing guards at John Muir, Sooke and Saseenos elementary schools.

In his submission Hicks stated, “The District of Sooke has been paying for the crossing guards at three Elementary Schools on the Sooke highway. Although one third of the students are from the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area, Sooke has been paying lOO per cent  of the  costs.

“With increased logging truck traffic on the highway and the growing concern from Sooke regarding budgeting for the crossing guards, I felt it imperative to fund the JDF share of the crossing guards. The total cost is $21,000 per year for the three crossing guards. The JDF share is $7,000. The School Board pays the crossing guards on their payroll and because it is forbidden to fund a taxing authority from my Grant in Aid funds, I am funding the three separate PAC Associations.They in turn, send the CRD’s contribution to the School Board to fund one-third of the cost of the crossing guards. The District of Sooke contributes the remaining two-thirds.

That the Electoral Area Services Committee recommended to the Capital Regional District  Board: That payment be made for the following grants-in-aid:

• John Muir Elementary School Parent Advisory Counil $2,333

• Saseenos Elementary School Parent Advisory Council $2,333

• Sooke Elementary School Parent Advisor Council $2,334

Property taxes

Sooke property owners will see an increase in their property tax assessment in 2015.

The final revised tax assessment roll will be in out April and Director of Finance Michael Dillabaugh stated that there would be an overall increase in the assessments for Sooke. He said publicity attached to the assessment noted that there was a decrease in residential properties because of market conditions. The net and total change in all classes is a $43 million increase, or 2.2 per cent. This is based on two factors, one being new constructions/subdivisions and the other from a significant desk top audit which refined and updated information.

Dillabaugh stated this is a significant and positive change. The change in the market is 2.75 per cent a decrease of approx. $54-million with the majority in the residential category but the overall increase is a net increase of 2.2 per cent. Dillabaugh called them “positive numbers.”

Seeking exceptional British Columbians

It’s time for someone exceptional in your community to be considered for the province’s highest honour – the Order of British Columbia – which recognizes outstanding achievement and distinction in a variety of fields.

Since its inception in 1989, the Order of British Columbia has recognized 370 British Columbians from various sectors and regions of the province, including:

– Baljit Sethi, advocate for immigrants and for equality (2011)

– Dr. Robert Thirsk, astronaut, mechanical engineer and physician

(2012)

– George Bowering, First Poet Laureate of Canada and historian (2004)

– Ellen White, social activist and medicine woman (2011)

– Diana Krall, jazz vocalist and pianist (2000)

– Trevor Linden, NHL hockey player and humanitarian (2003)

“For 26 years, we have recognized the outstanding contributions and achievements of our citizens with the Order of British Columbia, our province’s highest honour,” said Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor and Chancellor of the Order of British Columbia. British Columbians are encouraged to consider the exceptional citizens in their communities and nominate an individual for appointment to the Order of B.C. Any B.C. citizen can submit a nomination.

An independent advisory council, chaired by the Chief Justice of British Columbia, will consider nominations, and successful nominees will be recognized at a special ceremony hosted at Government House.

Nomination forms and submission instructions are available by email: orderofbc@gov.bc.ca, telephone (250) 387-1616 or online: www.orderofbc.gov.bc.ca/. All nominations must be submitted to theHonours and Awards Secretariat office in Victoria by March 6, 2015

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