A Message For Braeside Community Members

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A MESSAGE FOR

BRAESIDE COMMUNITY MEMBERS 

 

Hello to existing members and new members joining through the summer and fall. I am writing to update everyone about current events and new projects for the new year. I use the term ‘new year’ because our association year does not follow the calendar year. Why? The association was certified on September 1, 1967 as registered with the Society’s Act of Alberta so our ‘year’ is September to August. Not really convenient but I did want to explain the reason.

 

For you as the members, I found that the association needed another way to communicate in a faster way. The monthly Braeside Bulletin and Facebook have been and will continue to provide information as “headlines” but are a poor method to provide any background. So, we will add another method of reaching you by emails such as this. To review, as a member the yearly payments are used together with other income sources towards community events, the ice rink, and the community hall. The community events throughout the year are Used Book Sale, Paint the Pavement, Braeside Parade Day, Stampede Breakfast, Trunk Sale, Community Clean Up, and Halloween Spooktacular.

 

The Past Year and Current Events

 

Business Plan: We are required to have an up to date business plan to be in good standing with the Society’s Act of Alberta and the City of Calgary. I found last year that ours had not been revised since 2012. The present 2018 business plan is now in force. The result has been to identify many projects that the Braeside Community Association needs to do for building community spirit and finding community needs.

 

Elevator Project: The community center upper hall can serve more than 200 people. It has been the scene of weddings, funerals, retirements, and music performances. The board of directors had been asked in past years to have an elevator installed to allow persons with limited mobility to access this hall avoiding the two staircases. The project cost is approaching a cost of $200,000 which the association would not pay totally on its own. So far, we have received $51,450 late in 2017 from a provincial grant program and received pledges of $20,000 from long term renters of the upper hall. Since the City of Calgary owns the building and grounds, we are presently awaiting the results of a grant application to the City for the remainder. This application was submitted April 10, 2018 as a Capital Conservation Upgrade to access money that the City has available to keep the community centres vibrant and current to present building codes. We await a decision on any funds available to us using this grant process.

 

Community Garden: In April a Braeside resident approached the board of directors to ask about the possibility of having a Braeside community garden. This was quickly accepted as it fit one of the desired projects in the new business plan. After a design phase, contacting residents who would be adjacent to the location, a formal application for permission to construct was submitted late in June 2018 to the parks department for comment and approvals. We also await a decision for this project which will be partly funded by the community association.

 

Planning Committee: We now have a chairman of planning. The association is constantly being sent notices from the City Planning Department on matters affecting Braeside. The most impact so far have been requests to change land use designations from the existing R-C1 to R-C1s to allow for secondary suites. Also, we are aware of other land use changes close to Braeside with the Oakridge CO-OP being an example. The City Planning Committee allows us to comment and make recommendations. This is a time-consuming task. We also need to become more aware of other City initiatives for planning and transportation to communicate to you as members more effectively than in the past by news papers, television, and City presentations.

 

Membership Drive: The business plan is clear that to do new projects and keep current ones going, a larger membership base is needed. Late in August and into October 2018 we plan to have a door to door membership drive both to attract new members and thank existing members for their support. At present we have eight board members and three chairpersons managing the community affairs. More association members to work on committees will allow more community input, allow more awareness of Braeside needs, and building community spirit.

 

The Remainder of 2018 and into 2019

 

Refurbishing the Playgrounds and Parks Project: Earlier this summer we had a Facebook survey of our playgrounds as another need identified in the business plan. The response was very large. What the board of directors recognized from the survey is the need of a chairperson to recruit members to work on this project through the fall and winter. There is much background to understand, gather together to make a plan, and finally present to the City’s parks and recreation department for discussion.

 

Community Safety and Crime Prevention Project: Calgary Police Service has several programs designed to guide communities for safety and crime prevention. You may recall the program Block Watch which is not active anymore and we need to restart one of the new programs.

 

Seniors Engagement Project: Braeside needs to renew previous activities for seniors that have become dormant. I have asked for ideas for renewal from two seniors who were participants in past events to have this program again available.

 

Transportation Project: The 17th Avenue SE BRT has had an affect on adjacent communities by familiar bus route changes, decreasing frequency of service, and movement of bus stops. We have asked Calgary Transit to provide information on any changes to routes 56, 79, and 80 which service to Braeside. Any changes will be announced by Calgary Transit once SW BRT is active. We need to ensure our familiar service remains.

 

Thank you for your attention to this letter.

 

Robert, President

Braeside Community Association