At the June 25 Regular Council meeting, Sooke officials heard two delegations. In both cases, Sooke Tennis and Pickleball Group (Resurfacing and Improvements to Throup Road Courts) and Sooke Minor Fastball (Fastball Request) were looking for funding to start and improve their facilities respectively.
The pickleball group is working to secure the courts on Throup as an outdoor pickleball venue. After community consultation, the group is confident that the demand exists; over 125 people responded favourable to an online questionnaire.
The current tennis courts are owned by the Sooke Community Association, and the SCA supports this groups requested use of the courts. The courts have fallen into a state of disrepair, and before they can be effectively used, the tarmac will need to be resurfaced. This is in addition to the painting of the lines, for which the pickleball group had received $6,983.50 in funding from the District.
The current request was for an additional $30,000 to complete the resurfacing, after which time the line painting could begin.
The Sooke Minor Fastball was also looking for funds in excess of $84,000 to tend to a few structural items that are starting to require attention.
From a letter that was read to Council during the delegation, “Our dugouts and clubhouse are in need of new roofs, the fencing in areas is sagging and needs replacing, we would like to make our batting cage an all weather cage by having a custom made tarp for the roof so it can be used in the rain as our season is so short already.”
Their fields are well utilized, with 163 players registered this year and four men’s teams also using the space. The funds collected there go towards umpire costs, field maintenance, alternative winter practice space, insurance, and tournaments.
Both funding requests were declined, with the mayor noting from the onset that budget deliberations were done for the year. Both groups were encouraged to seek other funding avenues as well, and were invited to apply for the next round of community grants made available by the District in 2019. The delegations were reminded that there’s a $7,000 maximum, which can only be increased by unanimous consent by Council.
Sooke Council did commit to facilitating a conversation with SEAPARC (and in the case of pickleball, also with the SCA) to explore funding options for these outdoor sports facilities. There was also a suggestion that perhaps the School District 62 could be included in the conversation(s).
Councillor Brenda Parkinson noted that the existing tennis courts belong to the Sooke Community Association and when their lands fall into a state of disrepair, it shouldn’t fall on the District to fix it.
Present: Mayor Maja Tait and Councillors
Ebony Logins, Kevin Pearson, Brenda Parkinson, Bev Berger, Kerrie Reay, Rick Kasper; due to technical difficulties at the District, there was no video streaming and therefore no video record of the meeting.
- Council releases 2017 Statement of Financial Information (SOFI)
- District will facilitate pickleball and fastball facilities discussions with SEAPARC