“You have heard by now that the 2011-12 HRM Budget has been passed by Council, I am tremendously pleased with this budget and thank the Mayor, Council and our many Departments for listening to the needs of District 2. There was zero increase to the tax rate which I know was so important to all of us and while the property assessment values in many areas will go up even those are capped at a maximum increase of 2.9%. It was so crucial to get our top projects approved this year because beginning next year the massive $50 million downloading by this Provincial Government begins and let there be no doubt in your mind, this will cause massive service cuts and probably tax increases to the HRM, this unfair and unjust downloading of provincial costs onto the backs of HRM residents will be painful and will significantly affect services and project within the HRM for years.
Amongst the items approved for District 2, first and foremost is 6.9 million dollars to rebuild the Beaver Bank Kinsac Community Centre, 3.4 million confirmed in the insurance settlement and another 3.5 from the HRM clears the way to build what will be our communities signature building for the next 25 years. This building will be much bigger, more environmentally friendly, more accessible, and on and on and yes it will contain air conditioning, sprinkler systems etc. The project went out to tender over a week ago and we are waiting to see who the successful bidder is, I expect the actual site work to begin before the end of July. I cannot thank the community volunteers enough for the many many long hours put in on this, at times slow and frustrating but we want to get it right. To the members of the BBK Community Centre Board, the Design Committee and the Fund Raising Committee a very special thank you.
And talking of good news, I also want to offer a special thank you to Brian Johnson and all the volunteer workers, fund raisers and Board members of the Beaver Bank Brown Hall. You all put so much effort into raising the monies, planning and getting this hall rebuilt, no question the new hall is bigger and so much better and to be re-opened to the community so quickly is a tribute to your efforts. Hopefully the installation last week of multiple security cameras helps prevent such a cowardly act from re-occurring.
On top of the almost 7 million for the BBK Community Centre some other hi-lites for District 2 in this years budget were:
- millions of dollars to fund the new MetroX transit route to Fall River and the Airport, these funds cover the ordering of the new highway buses to run on the 118 to Fall River and the 102 to the Airport and to build the new Park n Ride in Fall River this year. This route is scheduled to open in May next year and will connect to the HRMs main terminal at the Dartmouth Sportsplex.
- over a million dollars is budgeted by Halifax Water to upgrade and replace the sewer treatment plant and existing lines throughout Frame sub division in Waverley
- a half million dollars for the new baseball field in Waverley which is weeks away from completion
- the $150,000 to build a new park & playground for Lost Creek sub division is approved
- the new cement sports pad for Delaney Park sub division was tendered last week
- a full park & playground replacement for the community of Lakeview was approved and is going out to tender this week
- design work for a full bridge replacement at Powder Mill Park on Rocky Lake Road in Waverley was approved
As many of you know this is one of the largest and continues to be one of the fastest growing Districts in all of the HRM and there is much more coming, in the past month alone we have had Public Meetings to begin Development Requests for:
- Public Meeting held at the LWF Community Hall for request by Powder Mill Development to build 14 condo style residential units on the old Windgate Farm property in Windsor Jct.
- Public Meeting held at Wellington Hall on a request by the Wellington Bakery to build a brand new Bakery & Coffee shop
- Public Meeting held at Grand Lake Hall on a request to build self storage units on Halls Road in Enfield
- Public Meetings continue in Fall River by the Vision Committee in regards to Seniors Housing, new zoning and by-laws for the area and the future shape of our communities. Coming up in early June will be presentations by the HRM on the Shubenacadie Watershed Study & the Fall River and Area Traffic Study. All residents are invited to attend these meetings as they will shape the future look of our communities.
And there is so much more coming soon, items like a 3rd Hilton Hotel at the Airport and the possibility of a new development in Beaver Bank which would allow the HRM to build a much needed park & beach area are coming soon so watch your community bulletin and websites for notice of Public Meetings.
Many thanks to all the members of the Beaver Bank Community Awareness Association for another very successful year and Town Hall meeting. Very few communities are lucky enough to have such a dedicated group working on their behalf, this Association just put out its 100th edition of the Beaver Bank Bulletin and recently started our own traffic web cam system with a camera at the Beaver Bank-Kinsac Road intersection – check their website for details and viewing.
Also, many many thanks to all the volunteer parents, teachers and staff at all of our area schools, so many of you work so hard in putting on hugely successful fund raisers and supporting our schools which is why we have the best schools around. I have had the privilege of attending many auctions, wine tastings and Spring Fairs and while I could not get to all of them I know the effort you all put in and the tremendous benefit to our communities. I am especially pleased to have given up the Mystery Box at this years Ash Lee Jefferson auction!!
Spectacular, Wow & Incredible are just a few of the superlatives I have heard about the Lockview High School presentation of Phantom of the Opera, what a show you put on. While I have always been aware of the tremendous talent our High School students possess you set a new standard and I wish to congratulate the actors, stage hands, band members and all the volunteer parents and staff members for such a wonderful performance. All 4 shows sold out in advance and huge standing ovations after each show tells it all, wonderful!!
I certainly want to thank two special groups for organizing and carrying out two large community clean ups this Spring. On April 30th the Fall River Ventures again partnered with the local Lions Club, Sobeys, Tim Hortons and Clean NS to clean up streets and parks all around Fall River, Lake Fletcher & at the Wellington Shubie Canal Locks and Waverley Park. Youth from Brownies and Beavers up thru to Guides and Scouts took part while Lions members served hot dogs and drinks, thanks to all of you for caring.
On May 14th Jason and Aero Tec Engines on Windgate Drive organized and ran a clean up of the entire Windgate Road from one end to the other and partially into many of the connecting sub division streets. Thanks to the many community residents who showed up and completed the entire road and collected massive amounts of garbage and then gathered at Aero Tec for drinks and hot dogs also supplied by Jason, well done.
If you are interested in organizing a community clean up in your area please contact me, I will register you with Clean NS who will supply garbage bags, recycling bags, gloves and other supplies and I will arrange with HRM for a special garbage pick up – lets keep our communities clean.
I know many in Beaver Bank are wondering as to the status of our community bus route. We have been successful in holding onto the existing bus route till the end of this school year which was our number one priority and meetings have continued over the past 6-8 months on trying to keep a workable schedule of times. We have recently been advised that Metro Transits final report and recommendations on the fate of the three Rural Community Transit Routes (Beaver Bank, Porters Lake & Sambro) is almost finished and will come to Council for decision probably on July 5th. We are cautiously optimistic that Council will support our new Community plans but we will need your support that day, when we get closer and know for sure the date I will advise through local papers and websites etc.
I am pleased to say that we are making steady progress on many community initiatives, some examples are:
- in meetings with the Wellington Hall Board a first ever website for the Hall & Community is under construction and once operational I will link it thru my community one, I have also agreed to help with funding to repair the parking lot and driveways.
- Thanks to the Rocky Lake Quarry as we have recently set up a Community Consultative Group to try to work towards solutions to the years old noise and other issues. The Group has representatives from the Quarry, Silversides Sub Division, Waverley Ratepayers Assoc, Lakeview Homeowners Assoc, local business rep and myself as area Councilor, we will report progress to each Community group.
- The Union Cemetary Board (Cobequid Road) is operational again for the Summer and has already began its meetings and work on the grounds, anyone is invited to come out on Wednesday evenings and join in on our work parties. Both Councilor Harvey and myself are again helping to fund this years work and projects as this group has been so successful these past few years in restoring this property.
I am one of only two HRM Councilors that belong to two Community Councils and I say that because I am so pleased to announce that last week we did presentations at both of my Community Councils on the Crosswalk Flag Program. At both of them, after the presentations, I made a Motion that they recommend to Regional Council that we be allowed to begin use of the Flag Program in Districts that want and need it – both Community Councils unanimously voted in favor of the Motion so it will now go to Regional Council. I am hopeful that with the recommendation coming from two CCs it will pass and we will be allowed to proceed, there are many locations in our District where this project would so greatly enhance pedestrian safety.
Last week Mayor Kelly and I were able to attend the Grand Opening of the Regional Firefighter Interpretive Centre-Museum located in the Old Station 45 on Hwy 2 near Sobeys in Fall River. A vintage Fire Truck show & shine was held at the Sobeys parking lot and then the trucks made a procession over to their new home at the Museum. The Grand Opening with cake and a display of the museum was held, many thanks to Mayor Kelly, Chief Mosher and so many of our current fire fighters for attending. I am so very happy to have found a home for these dedicated volunteers and the museum is now open to the public, check their website at www.rfic.ca Just as important is that we are almost finished the process to have ownership of this land and building returned to its rightful owners, the communities and residents of Lakeview , Windsor Jct and Fall River.
I also want to send out a big thank you and congrats to the Grand Lake & Oakfield Community Association members, if you drive thru Grand Lake on Hwy 2 you will see the beautiful new Community Sign, the new pad base for the upcoming playground and the entire parking lot completely re-done. With the re-vitalization of the baseball field the entire park area will have been re-done in a year, thanks to the many corporate and private sponsors who are making this happen.
I can only get a few examples of upcoming events into this column but here are some:
- On Saturday, June 25th this years A Grand Day for Cobequid will be held on Grand lake, this is a canoe & kayak family fun event with incredible prizes for participants. Last year was our first event and we raised $66,000 for the Cobequid Health Centre, an EKG machine was among the items purchased with these funds. This year we are already over $80,000 due to some incredible sponsors and funds will go to purchasing a second EKG unit and other specialized equipment. Every one of us knows someone who has needed the Cobequid Centre, they saved my life 4 years ago after a heart attack and will save more in the future. If you would like to take part as a volunteer or participant call or email me or go to our website from my community site links.
- On Sat, June 4th Oaken Hills sub division is holding a flea market indoors at the LWF Hall at 843 Fall River Road from 9 – 1pm. All funds will go to their planned new park & playground which we hope to build next year.
- On Wed, June 8th the Fall River and Area Business Association will be holding its 2nd open Public Meeting at the new Rec Centre at 7:00pm. Over 50 area business owners & reps attended the first meeting, come out and see what we are about. This is a terrific initiative for our many local business people and for our entire community.
- On Thursday, June 16th the Waverley Ratepayers Assoc will hold their AGM at 7:00 at the Legion. There is far too much happening to list here, come out and be informed of whats happening in your community.
My next column will not come out till July so please take notice of our many District 2 Canada Day celebrations:
- Lakeview will host its annual Canada Day parade and flag raising ceremony from the Search & Rescue building to the 3rd Avenue Park
- Beaver Bank will again be hosting its Annual Canada Day festivities, check the community website for all the events and times.
- Fall River will hold its 2nd Canal Days from July 1st to the 3rd, check their website from my community link below for all the events and times but fireworks will be on Sunday, July 3rd over Lake Thomas.
For links to all Community websites, sports and rec groups and more feel free to visit my new Community Website at www.barrydal.ca If you want to be linked or have an upcoming event posted please email me and we will put it on, the site is there to serve you.
Have a happy and enjoyable Summer and please remember – slow down, drive carefully and watch for pedestrians, its our kids out there.
Best wishes, Barry
HRM Councillor District 2
Exec Director/Treasurer LWF Baseball Assoc
861-1171 (h) 222-0740 (c)