The District of Sooke invited a presentation from a local group looking at Economic Development in Sooke.
One of the group’s members, Jeremy Wilson, said they were there on invitation of Council. They call themselves the Sooke Economic Development Group. They are a collection of long-term business owners from Sooke, looking to represent the interests of Sooke and “make it a little better.” Wilson is the current owner and operator of the 17 Mile Pub and Adrenaline, and he was accompanied by David Evans, owner of The Stick.
The group has identified a list of needs that could be addressed in Sooke. At the top of their list was access, primarily Sooke Rd also known as Highway 14.
“We can’t get here,” said Wilson. The #DividedBy14 was their initiative. Sooke does not have a good road in. It’s not lit. And this group has been working on this access issue for over a year. They consider Horgan’s 10 Million investment in Sooke Highway as a win.
The second item on their list is tourism, and they are turning their attentions in that general direction.
Their ask of the District was that someone from the District be assigned to their Economic Development Group, to be able to meet with them every now and then. They’ve got more ideas.
Councillor Bev Berger noted that unfortunately, Sooke doesn’t have a designated staff member doing economic development. A motion was put forward that Council Berger be appointed as the Economic Development Liaison to the Sooke Economic Development Group. Berger was excited about participating; the motion carried.
Councillor Kevin Pearson thanked the group for showing up, adding that it was refreshing to hear a group of business people coming forward and doing work without being asked, without their hands out.
The Economic Development Group currently consists of the five originals, Scot Taylor, Jeremy Wilson, David Evans, Randy Clarkson, and Doug Wittich, and two new additions, Megan McMath and Wolfgang Richter.
Also from the January 29 2018 Regular Council meeting:
- Earthquake and tsunami emergency system update
- Having rallied for Sooke Rd improvements, this volunteer Economic Development Group turns attention to Tourism
- Sooke Legion initiates process to permit alcohol service to the public
- Green team proposes collaboration partnership with the District of Sooke
Present at this meeting were Mayor Maja Tait and Councillors Bev Berger, Rick Kasper and Kevin Pearson.
Absent were Councillors Brenda Parkinson, Ebony Logins, and Kerry Reay.
The full agenda is available here: Regular Council – 15 Jan 2018 – Minutes – Pdf