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Sooke Council Meetings: Complete Audio Recordings
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March 12 Regular Council Meeting: Community clean-up effort nets $5,500 from the District of Sooke
Attendance: Mayor Maja Tait, Councillors Brenda Parkinson,
Bev Berger, Ebony Logins, Kerrie Reay, Rick Kasper, Kevin Pearson
As announced on Sooke PocketNews over the weekend, a Juan-de-Fuca wide cleanup contest will kickstart local Earth Day celebrations. The celebration will take place at the Sooke Community Hall on Sunday, April 22, and is coordinated with by Transition Sooke and their working group Zero Waste Sooke, and two main sponsors: the Sooke Fall Fair and Creatively United for the Planet. Costs of waste removal will be covered by the CRD cleanup fund.
At the March 12 2018 Regular Council Meeting, Marlene Barry and Jeff Bateman pitched their concept to Council and requested funds amounting to $5,500, drawn from various District budgets.
They are seeking support, funding and volunteers for their Earth Day Cleanup Competition. They were asking for $2,500 from their Carbon Tax Rebate Reserve Fund, $2,000 from the District’s News Sponsorship Fund, and $1,000 from Council Contingency fund, so they were seeking a total of $5,500 from the District. They also asked for staff resources, as many have environmental planning experience. Bateman observed that to date (and to his knowledge), the Carbon Tax Rebate Reserve Fund has not yet been spent on anything.
Ultimately, Council voted in favour of the request. Following are highlights of some of the questions asked by individual Councillors.
Councillor Kerrie Reay asked if this includes cleanup of the Basin and the Harbour. Barry responded, it all depends on who steps forward to volunteer, addng that a number of groups have already stepped up.
Councillor Ebony Logins asked some “hard” questions, and ultimately was the sole Councillor who voted against awarding these funds. How come we don’t have a grant application, she asked. (“We were too late.”) Logins said normally an exception (ie, a late application) wouldn’t ask for that much. She was also concerned about the short timeframe, with just a one month lead-up time to the event. (Bateman added, for the record, it was five weeks not one month.) One month is very close for a $5,500 ask, Logins observed. She would have preferred a three to six month lead time before the event. She also struggled with the fact that no budget was provided.
Councillor Rick Kasper felt it was a worthwhile endeavour. He asked, How much will you be getting from Mainroad (who proposed a similar cleanup last year or the year before) and Juan de Fuca? Barry said she’s attempted to contact Mainroad, but hasn’t heard back. JdF could provide a maximum of $1,000 but that’s not been confirmed. Kasper suggested she contact Hicks and get a grant made specifically for this project. Kasper wanted a budget breakdown, though he noted that advertising does cost money. Kasper asked what kind of assistance they would be getting from from corporate sponsors? Trucking, landfill, recycling costs. Barry said those listed have provided financial support. Bateman said this event will happen no matter what, and they are hoping to scale it up. “You can give us a portion, or all of it.” To his knowledge, the carbon reserve fund has never been tapped. Kasper concluded by saying that taking money from the Carbon Tax Rebate Reserve Fund without a budget and without a policy doesn’t seem right.
Councillor Kevin Pearson, on remembering to turn on his mic, said he felt it was clever to use of the Carbon Tax Rebate Reserve Fund. He was concerned about the sponsorship portion of the funding request, and getting good PR in return for their sponsorship with such a short time span. He ultimately thought it a good fit, and applauded the group for having a short time frame and getting it done.
Councillor Brenda Parkinson didn’t have an issue with receiving applications for Community Grants after the deadline date, as a few other late applications had been received after the date, and the funds available currently surpass the amounts requested. We could consider this. Parkinson added that the District has previously given out individual, one-of’s sponsorhip. Further, this Earth Day event does address beautification, and it will help the Communities in Bloom application.
Tait noted the CRD board meets on Wednesday, so any application in to the Juan de Fuca CRD Director Mike Hicks has to happen as soon as possible.
On closing, Logins noted if the deadline for community grants was extended, it should be done for all. She can’t support the $5,500. Councillor Reay said she initially supported Logins, but changed her mind. She will support it for the full amount. Reay sees it as seed money, adding that the District recently lost the garbage contract in December, and this will fill that gap.
With only Logins opposed a motion to grant the request was carried.
Also discussed at the March 12 2018 meeting
- Demamiel crossing targeted for completion this fall
- A free Cirque-de-Soleil styled nighttime performance may come to Sooke this summer
- Public Hearing allows for manufactured homes on all RU-zoned lots in Sooke
- Community clean-up effort nets $5,500 from the District of Sooke
- Tentative date set for District’s grant review
SPN $10K Do-Or-Die Drive