The District of Sechelt awarded $102,251 in traffic fine revenues to safety and crime reduction organizations during the Feb. 20 council meeting.
The Sunshine Coast RCMP was awarded $55,000 for their managed standing programs and their victim services division. The money will be used to purchase in-vehicle cameras for four to five police cars, for officer training and to fund the auxiliary officer and victim services programs.
A total of $22,301 went to fund Sechelt’s portion of a Sunshine Coast youth outreach worker this year, and $10,000 went to the Sunshine Coast Community Justice Program.
The community justice program offers community-based sentencing alternatives for first-time and low risk offenders.
The Arrowhead Society received $5,000 to assist those living with mental health and addiction issues and, the Home Alone program, run through the resource centre, was granted $2,450.
The remaining $7,500 was allocated to maintain the skateboard park at Chatelech Secondary School.
The District also agreed to continue to provide moorage at no cost to the Marine Industries Services Training Program run through School District No. 46.
Coun. Doug Hockley noted during councillor reports that the final composite for the new District of Sechelt logo should come to council for approval at the March 6 regular council meeting.
The District ran a contest seeking a new logo and tagline from June 23 to Oct. 1 last year that drew more than 60 submissions from the public.
In December Hockley said the final version would combine elements from the top three entries and that Sechelt may scrap the tagline altogether.
The golf course equipment the District of Sechelt leased when they took over the Sechelt Golf Course last year has yet to find a new home. Council approved storing the equipment at the Sechelt airport until someone could be found to take over the lease.
An affordable housing amendment bylaw and the bylaw amendment needed to allow the Sechelt Volunteer Fire Department to expand will both go to public hearing March 12.
The affordable housing amendment cleans up some language in the current bylaw and also states that affordable housing must be created on any residential development that is rezoned to a higher residential density.
“At least 20 per cent of the increase in potential units (or lift) in a development will consist of affordable housing for groups in need,” the bylaw amendment states.
The public hearings have been scheduled for March 12 at 7 p.m. at the community use room at municipal hall.
Councillors debated the merits of a small tax increase to support the Dakota Ridge recreation area during the Feb. 27 committee of the whole.
The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) sent a letter asking Sechelt for their consent to raise taxes from 2.5 cents to four cents per $1,000 of assessed value in order to better fund the recreation site.
Coun. Tom Lamb took exception to the request.
“As minute an increase in taxes as this is, I just don’t want to see another increase in taxes,” he said.
He questioned the cost to keep Dakota Ridge open to the public (around $250,000 a year) compared to the revenues made at the site (roughly $30,000 yearly through user fees).
He wanted to know how that ratio compared to other public recreation facilities like the pool and arena, and asked if there were other ways to increase revenues or decrease costs at Dakota Ridge.
“We’re passing the buck onto the taxpayer so I don’t support this unless I have more information,” Lamb said.
Coun. Darnelda Siegers agreed more discussion about future funding of the recreation area should take place, but that it was “separate from this tax issue at this point.”
The SCRD stipulated council should consider their request “as soon as possible” as they still needed to get approval from the inspector of municipalities to adopt the bylaw by March 28.
In the end, council consented to the tax increase but also passed a motion asking the SCRD to “provide a more comprehensive assessment of the revenues and costs associated with Dakota Ridge in comparison with other recreation facilities on the Coast.”