Sooke News Mirror, July 08, 2015

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July 08, 2015 edition of the Sooke News Mirror

Transcript of Sooke News Mirror, July 08, 2015

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    75

    Octavian LacatusuSooke News Mirror

    Construction of the controversial Sooke roundabout will begin next week, says dis-trict officials.

    The District of Sooke is contributing $3.1 million for the roundabout, which fuses

    Sooke Road, B r o w n s e y B o u l e v a r d and the Ever-green Cen-tre entrance into one loop, which is wide and big enough to accommodate anything from a loaded log-ging truck to your grand-pas Lincoln.

    But theres more on Sookes infrastruc-ture menu.

    The province takes care of the rest with an additional $6 million for a complete revamp of Sooke Road between Otter Point and Church roads. That includes new side-walks, crosswalks, lighting, curbs, new shoulder bike lane and new bus shelters. All that in total, to the tune of $9.1 million-worth of work.

    Otter Point and Sooke Road will also gain an extra right turn lane along with a sidewalk which right now is a daily frus-tration for many drivers who get backed up because theyre waiting for someone in

    front to turn right. But all that is about to change. This is a very exciting moment here in

    Sooke, and what has been the combined efforts of council, staff and the community since incorporation, said Mayor Maja Tait at the launch of the project Monday.

    Creating a vibrant town centre that is welcome, accessible and safe for residents, visitors and future generations by car, bike, or on foot has been a priority spanning sev-eral councils.

    Tait said the roundabout is being built without any extra taxpayers expense.

    All this work will be achieved without any increase in municipal taxes, she said. This brings us to this moment where we break ground and realize Sookes awesome potential.

    To reach that potential, however, itll take time, which is why Tait hopes Sooke resi-dents and business owners will be patient throughout the duration of the construc-tion, which is expected to finish this fall.

    The building contractor of the round-about and the rest of project, Island Asphalt (also known as O.K Industries) will also be distributing roadworks signs around town, with notices for detours via Wadams Way.

    Despite the detours though, Mike Pear-son, district engineer and operations man-ager for B.C. Transportation, said Highway 14 will remain open to traffic, with some single-lane closures from time to time.

    He added that crews will be working simultaneously on a variety of tasks, such as hydro, roadworks, road having and grad-ing construction work.

    reporter@sookenewsmirror.com

    Work to begin on roundabout$9.1 million-project will see major reconstruction of Sooke Road from Otter Point to Church roads

    This is a very exciting moment here in Sooke, and what has been the combined efforts of council, staff and the community since incorporation.

    Mayor Maja Tait

    Kevin Laird/Sooke News Mirror

    Sooke Mayor Maja Tait and B.C. government representative Comox Valley MLA Don McRae with the ceremonial first dig at the location of the new roundabout on Sooke Road. Work on the project begins next week.

  • 2 I NEWS I sookenewsmIrror.com wednesday, July 8, 2015

    Kevin LairdSooke News Mirror

    Candidates for a council seat in a small community should be able to spend no more than $10,000 to run for mayor and $5,000 for a council or school board seat, says a legislature committee on local election financing.

    For larger communities, a population-based formula would limit a mayoral campaign for a city of 150,000 residents to just under $90,000, with other municipal candidates limited to half that.

    The small-town limits apply to communities up to 10,000 residents. For larger ones, mayoral candidates would be limited to $1 per capita for the first 15,000 people, 55 cents per capita up to 150,000, 60 cents per capita for 150,000 to 200,000 and only 15 cents for communities larger than that.

    Sooke Mayor Maja Tait received $23,884.49 in campaign contributions in her run up to mayor last fall; Herb Haldane received $11,943 in campaign contributions, while David Shebib spent nothing on his campaign.

    If the limits were in place this last election than my campaign expenses would have been at or below the allowable limit, as a budget would

    have been set accordingly, Tait said.

    I agree with the limits provided Elections B.C. is prepared with accurate information well in advance of the next election.

    Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart, who chaired the committee as it toured the province, said the limits are aimed to make running for local government accessible and affordable, while recognizing the vast difference between political campaigns in large cities and those in small communities.

    The spending limits still have to be endorsed by the legislature, but the B.C. Liberal and NDP members of the committee endorsed them unanimously. They are part of a series of local election reforms that included extending terms to four years.

    The committee wants third-party advertisers limited to five per cent of what a mayoral candidate is allowed to spend. The spending limits would be in effect starting on Jan. 1 of each election year.

    B.C. is joining Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador in placing spending limits on at least some of their local elections.

    klaird@blackpress.ca with files from Black Press

    B.C. eyes spending limits for municipal council candidates

    The Ministry of Envi-ronment, in collabora-tion with Island Health, has issued a health advisory for the south and east coasts of Van-couver Island, from Campbell River to Vic-toria, including Port Alberni, due to the lin-gering smoke from for-est fires.

    The advisory warns that smoke concentra-tions will change due to factors like wind, fire behaviour, changes in temperature, and the situation will continue until a change in mete-

    orological conditions.Officials warn the

    public to avoid strenu-

    ous outdoor activities while the condition persists.

    Province issues health warning

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