Victoria, BC– The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board has approved the recommendation from The Sooke and Electoral Area Parks and Recreation Commission (SEAPARC) to go to referendum this spring to purchase 23 acres of land located at 6518 Throup Road in Sooke. In recent years, the property has supported a turf farm and more recently a par 3 executive golf course. The negotiated sale price of $999,000 includes the cleared, manicured land, a five bedroom home and miscellaneous equipment used to maintain the course.
The commission, which is governed by the CRD, is a partnership between the District of Sooke and the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area with the mandate of providing recreational facilities and opportunities for their residents. The SEAPARC Leisure Complex currently houses a three pool aquatic centre, ice rink, multi-purpose/fitness space, boardroom, sports field, bike park and skate park.
Through their Strategic Planning process, the commission identified the acquisition of additional lands for long term growth and expansion as well as the creation of an exercise and weight room facility as their top priorities. The commission will be debt free this year with funding in place for construction of an exercise and weight room expansion in 2017. $250,000 will be transferred for the land purchase, and a referendum will be held to ask voters to finance the remaining $750,000 over 15 years at a fixed rate of approximately 3%. The current tax rate is projected to fund the payments for the land and continue to build the reserves towards the facility’s exercise and weight room expansion, estimated to be completed in 2018.
"As Sooke continues to grow, it is essential for us to secure land for future recreation. Our soccer and ball fields are currently at capacity,” said Sooke Councillor Bev Berger. “This is good market value and interest rates have never been lower" added Councillor Rick Kasper.
Juan de Fuca Regional Director Mike Hicks hopes that all JDF and Sooke residents will support this investment in the recreational future of our children. "The founding members of the Sooke Community Association have carried us this far and now it is time for us to grasp this opportunity to secure these lands.”
The Sooke and Electoral Area Parks and Recreation Commission (SEAPARC) creates recreational opportunities for the public through development, provision and operation of the recreational facilities, programs and activities. SEAPARC is a partnership of the municipality of Sooke and western communities in the JDF Electoral Area (Port Renfrew, Otter Point, Shirley, Jordan River and East Sooke). The commission serves the residents of these areas. Funding for the commission comes from property taxes and user fees.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Mike Hicks, SEAPARC Commission Chair
CRD Director, Juan de Fuca Electoral Area