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Multi-Purpose Complex Proposed for Bedford Area
(Friday, November 24/2000)-- Mayor Peter Kelly and Bedford/Fall River MLA Peter Christie today pledged to actively work with the Board of Directors of the Community Sports and Lifestyle Complex to secure federal, provincial and municipal support for the proposed new centre in Bedford.
Mayor Kelly and Mr. Christie stressed that the new multi-purpose centre, which may be constructed in phases, must be financially self-supporting. Both are hopeful the Capital construction costs will be strongly supported by the three levels of government, Bedford area residents and the corporate sector.
The volunteer Board, which was established on September 14th with the assistance of the Mayor and the Bedford/Fall River MLA, announced the start of Phase One of the project today. It will include a site evaluation of two parcels of provincial/municipally-owned land in Bedford, as well as a community survey to determine the type of services and activities the new centre should provide for area residents. Both are expected to be completed by March 30, 2001.
Mayor Kelly said the Bedford area has experienced tremendous growth during the past decade, yet there is no major sports or community complex to accommodate the growing population. Bedford residents now often travel to other sports/recreation facilities and multi-purpose centres in Halifax, Dartmouth, Sackville and Cole Harbour and this places additional pressure on those facilities.
Mr. Christie said "A combined sports and community centre has been identified repeatedly as a priority item in Bedford community citizen surveys. The residents have been calling for it and the business community has been very vocal in its support.
This project is an idea whose time has come."
Both officials said they were pleased that there will be a public consultation process, providing citizens, individuals, groups and businesses with opportunities to submit written submissions or to attend public information meetings. The process is designed to allow Bedford area residents to voice their views on the type of facility they want to see built in their community.
'This new complex will not only provide sports facilities. The input and support of the community will dictate the types of activities and events that will be available, and identify the various community and other groups that would most likely use, and benefit from, the facilities," he said.
The two sites currently under consideration for the complex include a parcel of land at Jack's Lake and lands on Duke Street. They will be evaluated on the basis of cost, access, infrastructure costs, expansion potential, etc. The Board has set a time frame of between 18-20 months for start of construction.
Mayor Kelly said "The decision on what the complex will ultimately include will be determined by pubic demand, financing, community support and the ability of the centre to operate on a break-even basis."
Dan Sangster, of Bedford, is chair of the volunteer Board of Directors. Other members include Marie Bowless, Brenda Gallagher, Gary Schmeisser, Don Ross, Jerry Inman, Pat Nearing, Dave LeBlanc and Fraser Keayes. The Board is seeking additional members to represent Waverley, Fall River and the Hammonds Plains area.
The Board says the project has been endorsed by the Nova Scotia Sports and Recreation Commission and recently-elected Bedford Councillor Len Goucher.
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The Honourable Peter ChristieMLA-Bedford/Fall River (902) 424-4304
Mayor Peter Kelly(902) 490-4010
Dan SangsterChair, Community Sports and Lifestyle Complex (902) 835-4447