Minutes, October 18, 2005

BRIDGS
(Bear River Innovation, Development and Growth Society)
Tuesday October 18, 7:30
Bear River First Nations Band Hall

Present:  Cindy Harris, George & Pam Barron, Jane Kingston, John & Susan Malmstrom, Andrew Riddles, Hal Theriault, Jeremy Morine, John Harris, David Isles, Don Rice, Seretha Balcom, Rob Buckland-Nicks, Jay & Cheryl Stone, Grey Mckenzie, Mary Harris.

1. Call to Order
Meeting called to order at 7:30 PM

2. Introductions
Seretha Balcom was welcomed as a first time visitor.

3. Introduction of Minutes from Previous Meeting
It was noted that BRIDGS member Wayne Smith is not a member of the Youth Subcommittee.  The minutes will reflect this change.

4. New Business
John Malmstrom thanked Suzette Delmage, former BRIDGS Secretary, for all of her hard work, and for helping to create the format for our agendas.  In addition, Suzette provided us with research on board structure which was very helpful.  BRIDGS wishes Suzette well in her new role at the Lifeplex Wellness Centre.  Also, thanks were made to Don Rice for making a passionate and eloquent statement to the members of the Bear River Board of Trade at their recent meeting on behalf of the formation of BRIDGS.

John also stated that while BRIDGS continues to make progress as we are being well received by the local politicians and potential funders, the real work is just beginning.  The real progress we will make will not be accomplished via our regular meetings.  Rather, it will happen through subcommittee work sessions such as our Youth Subcommittee and the Village Meeting Subcommittee.  These groups, who will elect their own chairs, will then report back at our full BRIDGS meetings on their decisions made and work accomplished.

5.  Subcommittee Meeting Presentations
Youth Subcommittee:
The Youth Subcommittee has made great progress.  They will next be working on how to raise funds to accomplish their goals.  They may have access to a grant from the Oakdene, and will be talking to Suzette Delmage about some possible funding sources.  They are also discussing volunteerism, as well as forming a youth jobs committee.  John Malmstrom noted that open-ended fundraising can be discouraging, and suggested that the Subcommittee work on drafting a budget to get a sense of accomplishment.  Also, named fundraisers can earn more visibility in the community.  Andrew suggested that Convergys would be a good corporation to approach for a donation.  The Subcommittee is working towards opening their coffeehouse by December 15th of this year.  The BRIDGS members were impressed by the work of the Subcommittee and many  are willing to volunteer their time to ensure the success of the coffeehouse.

Village Meeting Subcommittee:
The Village Meeting will take place on Wednesday, November 9 from 7 – 9 PM, location TBA.  Tim Wilson is designing our announcement flyer, which Hal will copy at the MLA’s office.  This will go through Canadian Post to everyone who has a mailbox in Bear River.  The cost will be $53.  John Malmstrom called for a vote to raise the funds necessary to circulate the flyer.  Motion carried, and a hat was passed.  $70 was raised.  George asked if income tax receipts would be available for such donations.  Acting Treasurer Jane Kingston will get a receipt book.  After we receive our charitable status, receipts will be available.

The format of the meeting will be an introduction to BRIDGS by Hal and John, followed by discussion of Bear River’s strengths, weaknesses, and areas for opportunity in groups.  The BRIDGS members will need to facilitate these small group discussions.  At our next regular meeting, we will finalize this format and prepare everyone for this crucial community meeting.

6. Continuing Business
Politico/funding Updates:
Hal met with Keith Robichaud.  There is new federal funding becoming available for
municipal infrastructure.  Bear River is in a unique situation, since we sit between two
municipalities There is money set aside this year for a survey on our sewer and water
issues.  The political will is there to address these; it will take up to 4 to 5 years before anything is really accomplished.  Another issue is that Bear River’s population is small.  We need to work all three levels of government.  Annapolis County is willing to work on a grassroots plan with one umbrella organization, such as BRIDGS, if the community Is supportive overall.  We need to demonstrate some small successes to increase our visibility to the community and to the funders.  Hal meets next with the Warden of Digby County.  It was noted that we will have to keep up an aggressive public relations campaign as successes are achieved.

Discussion was raised regarding publicity for the upcoming village meeting.  It was
decided to present a press release after the meeting, as the presence of the press could be
distracting and a negative for the participants.  The two local papers will receive a press
release following the meeting.  Tim Wilson may be able to contact the CBC.  Hal will invite
the MLA’s to the meeting, however.

7.    Review and Adoption of Minutes from Previous Meeting
Motion made by Cindy Harris, seconded by Pam Barron to adopt the minutes of the October 4 meeting with the change previously noted.  CARRIED.

8.  Next Meeting
November 8, at 7:30 pm at the Bear River First Nations Band Hall. We will be making
final preparations for the next night’s Village Meeting.

9.    Adjournment
Motion made by Jane Kingston for adjournment, seconded by Susan Malmstrom.  CARRIED.  Meeting adjourned at 8:45 PM.

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