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Bedford Residents Association AGM

The AGM of the Bedford Residents Association took place on Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at the Bedford Legion.

The AGM was called to order by the Acting Chair, Mr. Paul Roy. He welcomed those in attendance and advised that the Board of Directors for 2011 are as distributed: Donna Lugar, Paul Roy, Donna Rubenstein, Art Mosher, Richard Wood, Mary Garnier, Barbara Brown, Kevin Doran and Doug Williams. In response to Paul Roy’s request for Nominations from the floor, no new members came forward. A call for approval of the Bedford Residents Association Board for 2011 was Moved and Carried.

It was noted that the new Chair will be Donna Lugar and that the remainder of the Executive would be determined at the first Board meeting. Date to be determined.

Paul Roy reviewed the Treasurer’s Report as distributed. He advised that the Association now has over 50 members and that growing the membership is a priority. He also noted that the rental fee for the Bedford Legion for the AGM was being sponsored by Novacorp Properties Limited and wished to thank Novacorp for their assistance.

Mr. Roy advised that the Bedford Residents Association has been Incorporated as a Non-Profit Society and that there have also been costs to date associated with setting up the website and providing the ability for residents to complete our survey on-line. Other costs to date included paying for the Bedford Legion for our September 23rd Community Meeting, the rental fee for the HRM Community Notice Board on the Bedford Highway and monthly bank fees.

In response to the monthly bank fees, a member in attendance suggested that perhaps another bank would either waive or provide reduced fees to non-profit Associations. This will be checked into further.

The meeting was also advised that the UPS Postal Box rental fee and the Bedford Residents Association banner were paid for by an Association member and that those will have to be reimbursed when monies are available.

The Acting Chair then briefly reviewed our survey results to date. He noted that, in general, residents are reasonably satisfied with Police and Fire Services. The areas where most generally feel improvements are required are with public transportation, cultural facilities, arts and music (performing arts). It was noted that the majority of respondents noted the need for a focal point in Bedford and, on this basis, the Association will work towards such a facility. It is envisioned that this focal point would be on the Waterfront and would include a public transportation hub, a performing arts venue, and possibly a library.

In response to the issue of a focal point in Bedford, Ms. Cherie Winters noted that Bedford already has a focal point and that would be the Scott Manor House. It was agreed that although this is a wonderful facility and that we should make sure that residents are aware of it, it is not the type of focal point that the Association is envisioning and, as well, it is not central in the community. The Scott Manor House is very important to the community, however, as it is full of Bedford’s history.

Paul Roy asked Councillor Tim Outhit to take the floor to update those in attendance on various issues affecting our community. Councillor Outhit briefly updated the meeting on the proposed new high school and the Community Centre enhancement of same which would require an area rate to be charged to residents of Bedford and parts of Hammonds Plains. He noted that this issue would be going in front of Regional Council at their next meeting. The issue of a cafetorium was also raised during this discussion. A concern was expressed with the effectiveness of cafetoriums and it was noted by Elaine Loney, Chair, CPA-SAC, that they are working to ensure that this space will be adequate.

Councillor Outhit also took the opportunity to update residents on several other initiatives affecting the community. There will be considerable development occurring over the next several years. He noted that the Bedford West area will ultimately be comparable to Truro in the number of residents. He also noted that there is a proposal on the floor for the land across from Bedford Academy on the Hammonds Plains Road that could include residential and commercial. The Bedford Waterfront will also be seeing growth but another point of access/egress is required before much more can be constructed in that area. Discussions are underway in that regard. Councillor Outhit also advised that there has been a 10 year hold placed on any development on the Sandy Lake lands.

Councillor Outhit informed the meeting that he is working on improving transportation in the area and would like to see commuter rail. He also noted that there are several articulated buses which will be starting soon on the Bedford bus routes. He agreed that there should be a transportation hub on the Waterfront and that this facility should include a library and performing arts facility. It was suggested by Ms. Cherie Winters that if a performing arts facility is constructed on the waterfront, in either Bedford or Halifax, that it be designed with a view of the water.

The Acting Chair, Paul Roy, asked Sandra Banfield, whether she would like to take this opportunity to apprise those in attendance on her efforts to save the Bedford Basin reef. Ms. Banfield informed the meeting of her concerns with respect to the reef and what she and her partner have done to date in an effort to prevent any further infilling in that area around Crosby Island. Ms. Banfield requested that the Bedford Residents Association help her inform the public of the issue and help work towards a satisfactory resolve before this area is affected any further. It was agreed by the Acting Chair, Paul Roy, that we would link her information to the Bedford Residents Association website and help, as much as possible, with informing the community on this issue. It was also agreed by Councillor Outhit to arrange another meeting  between the Waterfront Development Corporation and herself to see where this issue now stands as additional investigative work was to be undertaken on the historical significance of this area.

Paul Roy then informed the meeting on the Bedford Residents Association’s plans for the coming year. He advised that we will be working on several initiatives to help build community spirit and to bring the community together. One initiative presently being investigated is Communities in Bloom. Research is presently being undertaken in order for Bedford to take part in this initiative. In response to Donna Lugar’s suggestion that it might have to wait until next year because of the cost involved ($550.00 + tax for communities with 20,000 or more residents), Councillor Outhit suggested that perhaps he could pay for that fee.

Another event that the Association wishes to undertake is a community skate. Paul Roy noted that there are local companies willing to offset the cost of the rink. In response to rink costs, Councillor Outhit suggested that we could possibly get free ice time at the new BMO centre for such an event and that he would look into this for us.

The Association is also considering a community clean-up event which could coincide with Councillor Outhit’s annual community clean-up. Councillor Outhit suggested that perhaps this clean-up could occur prior to Bedford Days this year rather than during. This will be discussed further.

The Association is also hoping to facilitate community-wide neighborhood street parties. It is envisioned to have all neighborhoods have a street party at the same time so that residents have the opportunity to meet. It is felt that the weekend after Labor Day weekend is preferable as children are back at school but sports programs have generally not started yet. It was noted that when people know everyone in their particular neighborhoods crime tends to decrease.

In response to Paul Roy’s question with respect to there being any further questions from the floor, no additional issues were raised.

The Bedford Residents Association AGM adjourned at approximately 8:30 p.m.

For more information on the Bedford Residents Association visit bedfordresidentsassociation.ca.

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