Councillors Column – March 2011

“I would like to start this column by thanking all those who participated in our recent Canada Games and for making them the best to date. Our coaches and officials did a great job in preparing our athletes and they really put on a wonderful show of skill and determination. We are all so very proud of all of our Nova Scotia athletes and especially those from District Two who all contributed to our Province being awarded the Most Improved overall team, the huge ovation your received at the Closing Ceremonies was very well earned. While our athletes thrilled us with their performances our volunteers, support people and event planners did a truly superior job. I was able to attend many venues and speak to visitors from all over Canada who were so appreciative of the effort and response by Nova Scotian’s in putting these Games on. On a personal note I want to thank the Games Committee for allowing me the honor of doing multiple medal presentations at Ski Martok, it really was a thrill.

I would like to announce the launch of my new community website which we opened last week, this site is intended to be one where District Two residents can go and easily find information about what is going on in the area and when and where. You can easily link to various community groups, sports and rec organizations & local Associations and get updated HRM news, if your group is not there and would like to be please contact me. The site has just been opened and we are still adding content, check I especially would like to thank Patrick & Graeme from / for doing this for me, check out their site as well as it is also a great community resource.

Congratulations to the Beaver Bank Kinsac Awareness Association on its continuing work and on the 100th Edition of the Beaver Bank Bulletin. This is a terrific accomplishment and shows the long time dedication of so many volunteers past and present who raise the funds, put together and edit and then distribute the Bulletin every two months to keep our residents informed. If you have not renewed your yearly membership yet this year, this is a great time to do it and continue to support your Bulletin.

People have often asked me why I take such pride and have such enthusiasm for our District and its many communities, I think April sums it all up. First we have a dedicated volunteer group who puts on our own District 2 Volunteers Award Night each year in April, nominations for this year have closed but this group goes out each year and raises funds, organizes and gets many nominations and then puts on a Dinner & Awards night, this year it will be held at the Waverley Legion and I want to thank the Committee for once again taking this on. Also in April the HRM is hosting its Volunteer Recognition Evening at the Harbourview Inn in Dartmouth, I am very pleased to tell you that this district has had 8 very worthy people and one volunteer organization nominated which is a very high number but I think very reflective of the work done throughout our area. I would like to thank and congratulate the following people for their efforts on our behalf: Bob McDonald, Michael Creighton, Kristen Marriott, Roslyn Duffus, Shaelyn Sampson, Bonnie Matthews, Ginnie Lively & Tom Margeson and also thank the many volunteers & members of the Halifax Regional Search & Rescue based out of Lakeview on their nomination. Each year an HRM Committee scores and rates all the resume’s and nominations received and the top 10 from the entire HRM are forwarded to the Province to be included in their Provincial Awards Ceremony and I am very proud to tell you that this year our District has 3 of those 10 people. I am sure you will all join me in thanking our District 2 Volunteer of the Year last year Bob (RJ) McDonald, the current Chair of the Fall River Vision Committee Michael Creighton and our Youth Awards nominee Kristen Marriott for their many years of volunteering to make our communities what they are.

With Spring now arriving I have been meeting with the RCMP regularly to help ensure we all have a safe and enjoyable Summer, there is a lot of recent police activity you should know about:
– first I would like to thank Cst Tamu Bracken and all of our Elementary School Staff as she taught and graduated 6 classes recently from four different area schools on the RCMP DARE Program (Drug Education) – well done students.
– I would also like to thank the RCMP for being in the right place at the right time last week when they were on patrol in the Fall River Sobeys Mall and noticed an armed robbery in progress at the pizza store. They were able to intervene and stop this and were able to arrest one subject and recover a weapon, thanks for being there.
– I also applaud the increased radar patrols on the # 2 hwy in Wellington and the check points throughout our District lately, please keep it up.
– with snow melting I can already see the increase in speeding in our sub/div’s and on our residential streets. Come on people, this is where our kids & families are out walking, jogging and biking – SLOW DOWN before you ruin someone’s life. My meetings with the police will continue to push for more radar and more checkpoints until we all get the message.
– we have also been talking about boat safety and the need for much more visibility on our lakes, the local Det has already put requests in for many more hours of having the RCMP boats here this Summer on our lakes, I am advising you in advance they will be here at my request – be safe, be compliant!

Many Minor Sports groups have Spring registration dates coming up very soon. LWF Baseball, Soccer and Cheema are all registering now while Minor Football has their AGM upcoming. For dates/info go to my website as listed above, our District has first class sports and rec groups so get your kids involved and participating.

There are a number of events/items that are ongoing which are big issues for our District, some updates are:

  1. Beaver Bank Kinsac Community Centre – As you all know by now the Centre that burnt down had already been outgrown by the community. Originally paid for completely by a community Area Rate for $3 million the community now deserves and needs a larger centre which includes HRM’s goals of being accessable and environmentally friendly. This new building will be bigger and better, be more accessable to all and will contain a sprinkler system and air conditioning but the price of the new building is now $8 million. Our HRM Dept’s that have been working on this are recommending HRM put close to $4 million from its General Tax Rate and that recommendation is included in the upcoming April budget plans. I am hopeful that with full support of our Dept’s that HRM Council will support this item in the budget, if it is passed everything else (design work etc) is complete and we will go to tender as soon as budget gets final approval.
  2. Fall River & District Vision Committee – for the past 3 to 4 years the Vision Committee and HRM Staff have been moving forward on plans and by-laws for the future development of our community. As part of that HRM has commissioned a number of studies that are now down or nearly completed, examples are:
    • Fall River & District Traffic Study
    • Shubenacadie Watershed Study
    • Municipal Water Feasibility Report
    • Area Zoning & By-laws

    The Committee is getting close to its final recommendations that will go to HRM Council this summer for approval. These plans will be available to the community at two Open Houses which are coming up on Thursday, March 31st from 10am to 9pm and on Saturday, April 2nd from 10-5, both sessions at the new Rec Centre. Please drop by and be informed, its your community.

  3. Beaver Bank Brown Hall – if you’ve driven by recently you would have noticed that there has been tremendous work done and the Hall is very close to being finished and re-opened, fantastic work by the volunteers and people and it will be such a relief to get one community hall back up and operating.
  4. Fall River/Airport Transit – this has been in the news a lot lately and as many know by now the new MetroX route from Dartmouth to Fall River to Airport and back has been planned to open in May of next year (2012). HRM recently agreed to put another $3 million into the building of the new Bus terminal in Dartmouth and I fully supported that decision as that will be the main connector to this Fall River/Airport route. By doing that though HRM needs to find the extra $3 million and there are decisions that need to be made very soon to find those funds. One of those possibilities is that the MetroX route could be delayed a year but the Airport Authority Board wrote the HRM last week that it was willing to increase its offer of a subsidy to $500,000 if the route is completed to the Airport next year as planned. We will have a decision on this by the time of my next article to you and I will advise you accordingly.
  5. Beaver Bank Transit – there is no change in this status. Months ago, after meetings with our local Transit Committee we gave a modified proposal to our Transit Dept and to Council. Along with the other rural transit routes these proposals are being studied and costed and many questions are being answered. When this is all done a report and hopefully a favorable recommendation will come back to Council for a decision.
  6. Fall River Sobeys Expansion – phase one is well underway, this is the moving of the loading bays to the back of the mall and the expansion of the actual Sobeys Store to the side. Excavators have removed huge amounts of the hill out back to make room and work continues every day. Phase two which is the construction of a 2 story separate building in the field area to the right of the mall will begin later on. This expansion is designed to include a park with walking paths etc in the lot beside Tim Hortons.
  7. Waverley Baseball Field – what a great sight, I walked in last night (Mar 19th) and the entire area is cleared and heavy excavators have been at work removing two hills and are filling in and leveling the field area. To date they are not encountering any rock or slate which is also good news. The gate to the park will remain locked while construction is underway but feel free to walk in and have a look.

Some upcoming events for your participation:

  1. 3rd Annual Trek for Tourettes takes place on Sunday, March 27th at the Shubie Park off of Waverley Road. Registration is from 1-2 at the Fairbanks Centre and Trek begins at 2:00, I am honored to have been asked to cut the ribbon each of its 3 years and this is another great cause. I invite District 2 residents to come out and show your support and enjoy the beauty of the Shubie Park and its Canals, last year HRM residents raised the 3rd most funds in the whole country in this Trek.
  2. New Fall River & District Business Association – many thanks to Barb from the Fall River Law Office for taking the initiative of trying to start a local Area Business Association. Start up plans are ongoing but they will host their first official meeting on Wednesday, March 30th at 7:00 at the Gordon R. Snow Rec. centre in Fall River. This will definitely be a huge benefit to our communities and I encourage all local business people to attend.
  3. Lockview Area Residents Association (LARA) AGM will be on Monday, March 28th at 7:00 in the new Rec Centre. The Executive has granted me permission to be on the agenda and discuss possible ways and uses to return over $100,000 from the old Sidewalk Area rate to the community.
  4. On Monday, April 4th at 7:00 at the LWF Community Hall located at 843 Fall River Road the HRM will be holding a Public Hearing in regards to a development request for the old Windgate Farm property.
    This request is to build 15 homes off of Windgate Road in Windsor Jct where Windgate Farms is currently located.

HRM Public Works has sent out its pre-budget list of re-paving and micro filling for this Summer, on that list for District 2 are:
– Hwy 2 from Collins Drive to Sunnylea Road
– Windgate Road from Beaver Bank Road to # 1992
– Aerotech Drive at the Airport
– Lakeview Road from Cobequid Road to civic #46
More projects will come with the final budget approval.

My last note is that every Spring brings the potholes, wash outs and knocked down signs. We can not fix them if we do not know about them especially in the sub-divs. I ask and encourage residents to jot down civic addresses where you see these and report them asap to our HRM Service Centre at 490-4000. this number is staffed 7 days a week from 7am to 11pm and operators will be pleased to take your report, issue you a service number and report the item direct to our Dept responsible to fix it. To our many residents who live on gravel roads, while the graders cannot work on them while they are still wet I do ask that you call in the request for necessary work and grading now so that they are on the list to be done as soon as weather permits. If some people on your street are interested in meeting and talking about having your road paved feel free to call me and we can set up a meeting to discuss real policies, costs and procedures.

I think we are all glad to see that Spring is in the air, warmest regards – Barry

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