Comment: How readers would spend the surplus
Westshore governments have millions to spend to community improvements
Affordable housing subsidies:
I'm a 40 year old disabled single parent who relocated to Colwood thanks to Lu'ma housing offering us the first breath of housing security of my life. This is my 18th home since I moved out at 18 and I've never been asked to leave. I'm an amazing tenant who always pays my rent. Affording housing has been a struggle since I was born, but now it's terrifying. Before subsidized housing, I was raising my child solo on $50 a week after paying rent to pay for food and utilities and all things in life. So grateful to be in this paradise. We're in love with Colwood.
Currently in the market to buy my first home and there is a huge loss in supply for homes in a starter home/townhome price range. It’s either a condo or million dollar plus detached home. Would love to see my community tackling the housing crisis more.
Housing that is truly affordable! Actual housing, not tax credits. Geared toward renters of all ages, and that will allow people to keep their beloved pets, not force them to surrender to SPCA in order to find a house.
I used to work with an agency that provides advocacy for disabled individuals, often trying to help individuals find housing. Affordable housing is suffering from a great shortage & this leaves many without housing of any kind & living on the streets, even with children!
I'm in View Royal and all the new townhouses being built are two bedrooms. We need affordable, safe three bedrooms for minimum wage workers. The ones that do have three bedrooms are CRD townhouses shared with people coming off of the street and that is not safe for families
Housing for the homeless; disgraceful that as a society we have people living on the streets.
Seniors and low income people need help.
Utilities: sewer and water
I want the water upgrade to cover the areas not currently in the plan for East Sooke.
Use the funds to help make the YMCA a Westshore Parks facility
Please bring sewers to Colwood!
Many parts of Sooke are still on septic and additional sewers to the new water treatment plant would be beneficial.
Sewers needed throughout the Langford catchment. With past growth, roads need upgrades and traffic flow restructuring. With growing youth population recreation facilities are prime to keeping youth off the streets and allowing the aging population to access physical activities.
For years home-owners in Colwood have been concerned about the inevitable move from personal septic systems to municipal sewer. Investing this grant money in that to offset cost to taxpayers would demonstrate Colwood's commitment to its existing tax base and voters.
Upgrade to sewer and water as well as upgrades to our roads.
Road improvements & public works
Road upgrades are really most important to me, then water and sewage
Better lighting and bright, clear lane painting are crucial to safe driving, especially when it's raining. Included in upgrades needs to be continuous bike lanes. At this point, many bike lanes run out causing anxiety for bikers and drivers alike.
Colwood main roads need major line painting, sidewalks. Many side streets need better lighting.
Actually a tie between recreation facilities and sidewalks! Langford has seen so much development and a lag in developing the supporting infrastructure. We need sidewalks to be able to safely walk with our kids, but also another community rec centre offering high-demand services like swimming lessons!
Pothole repair and gutters along Goldstream. I think the YMCA needs support too. Any improvement in water capture or treatment is good. Brush clearing along Langford Lake makes me sad. Can’t believe buildings so close to the Lake.
I have another idea:
Expand sewer service in Sooke, especially on the east side of Sooke River bridge.
The people taking care of our special needs kids are SO underpaid. Instead of raising the funds to our kids, raise the pay to the caretakers and the Educational Aides too. Most underpaid people that should be considered essential service.
Restoration of green space in Langford. Where trees were cut down and development not begun, plant trees back in these spaces.
It has to be looked at with the rest of the year's revenue and also with an eye to any other provincial and federal grants available for watershed improvement, active transportation etc. I see transit is not on the list but Langford and the whole Westshore needs much more. I'd like to see an interactive tree inventory like NY City has plus a major tree planting effort throughout the community.
Saving what is left of our forests, increasing protected parks that already exist and ensuring that Bear Mountain does not become a "Bare Mountain."
Downtown ferry service from Royal Bay!
I prefer the money to be used in dealing with flooding areas like Millstream. Landlords near the flood areas should be able to get it assessed and protected.
I don't think they should have taken that much money in taxes in the first place. It was poor planning on the government’s part. Leave it with the people who earned it to spend, not someone who won a popularity contest and more than likely knows nothing of finance.
Reduce the rate of property taxes which are all following the rate of inflation. Most municipalities are expecting property tax increases from 7%- 12%. These year over year increases are unsustainable for homeowners to pay.
I saw nothing in the budget that would be of financial assistance to seniors. Not every senior owns a house, seniors still have to eat just like everyone else and debts are still feeling the effects of the increases in interest. Some older people are taking credit lines out on their homes to manage from month to month. It's disgraceful that there was absolutely nothing in that budget that provided any kind of financial assistance to those over 65.
Water conservation and food security, especially for Island communities that have green space for growing. Use it to encourage people who can not afford to farm and need to lease available land in an affordable way.
Reduce or eliminate debt (e.g. recreational facilities) to alleviate or eliminate proposed increase of personal taxes.
In View Royal, funding crossing guards for schools; increase the number of paid firefighters; put a View Royal Park sign back up; fill the ditch with piping along the path between houses and leash free area in View Royal Park; update sewers and fix the potholes etc.
Like Saanich, Langford should plant 10,000 trees.
Bike lanes and active transportation:
We have the wonderful Galloping Goose trail but it is very difficult to get to for people living in West Sooke without travelling on the very busy West Coast Road/Sooke Road.
Sidewalks and lighting so we are a walkable and safe community
In Highlands, a bike/pedestrian lane on Millstream would be great for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers.
Maybe the mayor should try riding a bike on Sooke Rd. where the traffic is routinely going 70 km/h. How do you expect to encourage people to get out of their vehicles when you spend nothing on bike lanes?
Sooke's population has grown 16% between 2016 - 2022, yet safe, separated cycling lanes are non-existent. Adding bike lanes from town, extending east across Sooke Bridge up to the Potholes and to the transit stop, and west to at least French Beach.
In Sooke please more sidewalks.
Bike lane on Otter Point road leading to the park behind Gordon's Beach. Secure bike parking inside the core to accommodate electric bikes. Fast charge station for electric vehicles in Sooke.
A fast route downtown on the rail corridor.
Safer pedestrian flashing crossings & bike lane access on busy intersections. More bike racks installed on main shopping streets and areas.
A bike route between North Langford and South Langford so that we can more safely access the existing trails such as the Galloping Goose and the E&N trail on the south side of the Island Highway.
Creating new & safe bike lanes, and maintaining existing bike lanes. The bike lane on Millstream & Veterans Memorial is often littered with debris.
How about a community centre right in the heart of Langford? With pool tables, ping pong tables, a small workout room, art room, a small music center, a quiet reading area, a place for your dogs to hang, a place to buy cheap coffee and treats. For all ages, young to older.
Improve Metchosin’s existing tennis courts, construct walk path along Rocky Point Road for those walking to the Galloping Goose and install crosswalk where the Galloping Goose crosses Rocky Point
The existing facilities are already full, and with our population expanding we need more.
There is a huge demand for more pickleball courts, as it’s the fastest growing sport in North America. It’s a great activity for fitness and socializing, especially for seniors. Our local governments should be more involved at providing facilities to promote fitness for seniors. Perhaps a shared new outdoor facility with several municipalities, to build a specific pickleball centre.
Recreational facilities for young people, funding for the Y, funding for the libraries—more computers—more parks and more bus routes.
Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre needs to upgrade the tennis court area and add a cover for inclement weather, as no place in the Westshore offers that.
At the moment, the Westshore only has one facility for seniors to enjoy recreational activities. It’s important to have other options.
Replace the infant/toddler swings at Veterans Memorial Park!
Sounds like a good way to give the funding to the YMCA while they figure out an actual solution.
With so many families in growing Langford, recreation facilities are important.