Sooke council voted unanimously on Monday night to rescind controversial letters demanding hefty renewal fees for memorial park benches in Whiffin Spit Park.
They also voted to include an apology to those who said they were shocked and hurt to receive the unexpected request for money.
“I am very sorry for the heartache and the hurt that is resonating through our community,” said Sooke mayor Maja Tait.
CHEK News first reported last week that the municipality was asking Brandy Rittaler for a $2000 renewal fee for a memorial bench dedicated to her mom Judy Jamison.
The community had helped raise the $1600 fee to pay for the memorial bench a decade ago and there had been no mention of a renewal fee.
The policy had been approved in 2014.
Now Rittaler was being told that if she didn’t pay, the memorial plaque would be removed and the bench sold to someone else.
“Judy was a dear, dear friend to a lot of people not just me. Plus she has her children that walk down and see the bench” said Linda Lex who fundraised the money through a garage sale.
“I just feel this is a money grab.”
Council on Monday night recognized that the policy had been a mistake and said it will be reviewed early in the new year.
It was confirmed that the municipality had received one renewal payment of $2000, that money will be reimbursed.
Council is also looking at spending $50,000 for the design and construction of a new memorial at Whiffin Spit Park.