Residents in Sooke are concerned about the imminent tax hikes to pay for the new sewer system.
Council endorses boundary vote [and delays sewer consent]By Robin Wark for Sooke News Mirror October 17, 2001
If Sooke is to consider welcoming neighbors, then those already in the community will have a vote.
That was ensured Monday night by the Sooke Council at a special council meeting in their chambers. Also during the meeting the council decided to delay its proposed sewer project consent period until more is known about the grant that has been applied for.
Council discussed budgeting for a referendum on possible amalgamation with outlying areas, which they agreed to do with no reported estimate, but Councillor Lorna Barry suggested that the group should make it known to the community they will have a vote on the issue.
On the recommendation of chief administrative officer Tom Day, in a motion made by Barry, Council decided to make a resolution to not proceed with a boundary extension without a referendum.
Also dealing with the matter, council authorized the study of a possible amalgamation with East Sooke, Otter Point/Shirley or both, providing the province pays the full cost of the study. Council also discussed who should sit on a steering committee and hiring a consultant.
While Sooke was working on the matter, the Metchosin Council decided Monday to study the possibility of amalgamation with East Sooke provided the community has a vote, according to Gerry Mellott, Metchosin’s clerk/administrator. Metchosin’s council also resolved to set up a meeting with Sooke about contracting a consultant together.
After directing staff to initiate the public consent process for the proposed sewer core area last month, council decided to pull back.
Day said the original intent was to proceed while the information was still fresh and with the thought that a favorable response from the public could help tip the scales in Sooke’s favor for the grant.
But Day said in meetings himself and others had with senior officers of the Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services it came to light that this was not the case.
“They indicated that it in no way would affect the grant process,” Day said.
They also learned that typically large grants, such as the $16 million federal/provincial infrastructure one Sooke applied for, are usually awarded in January-March.
Council unanimously decided to hold off on beginning the actual consent process until notification of what has happened with the grant application has been received.