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Huge turnout for GCL AGM

Over 100 Griesbach residents passed up St. Paddy’s celebrations to join us for our Annual General Meeting.

It was a busy agenda. President Brad Tilley welcomed the crowd and reviewed many of the highlights from the past year – from the dedication of Patricia Park and the Airborne Cairn in Perron-Berger Park, to the success of our growing soccer program and ongoing efforts to build a new playground.

We were joined by several special guests, including:

  • Doug VandenBrink (Canada Lands)
  • Constable Jacqueline Buchanan, EPS
  • David Eggen (MLA, Edmonton-Calder)
  • Bev Esslinger (Councillor, Ward 2)
  • Janice Irwin and Kerry Diotte (Federal candidates, Edmonton Griesbach)

Special thanks to David Eggen for donating a couple of amazing pieces of art as door prizes. Also to Famoso for giving a $10 gift certificate to all in attendance.

Below are a few meeting highlights (sorry if I missed anything)

 Elections

We are pleased to welcome the following new Directors to our board:

Vikesh Malhi (Secretary), Felicia Dewar (Fundraising), Bill Countryman (Sports), Milena Jusza (Neighbourhood Watch), Melissa Ferr (Programs), Ryan Barlow and Ginevra Mills (Members at Large).

Re-elected: Brad Tilley (President), Steve McIsaac (Past President), Bryan Evans (Parks and Gardens). Remaining positions are up for election in 2016.

We’d like to recognize the hard work of Amanda St. Jacques who has stepped down from the Sports Director position after playing an instrumental role in building a successful soccer program from scratch.


 

Playground/Structures update

Structures and Facilities Director Jim Chronopoulos presented an update on the playground. He recognized our corporate sponsors and reminded residents to see if their companies (or homebuilder) might be in a position to donate.

He noted that GCL has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the City of Edmonton and that another major grant application has been submitted to the Province of Alberta. The committee is currently in the process of working with architects and choosing suppliers. Until all funds are in place, it is tough to predict exactly when the playground will be built, though Chronopoulos was confident it would be within one to three years.

Moving beyond the playground, Chronopoulos outlined controversial new requirement from the City to have community leagues sign maintenance agreements for any monuments in their neighbourhood. He cited a recent agreement between GCL and the group building the Ad Astor Air Force monument as a smart example where the group behind the monument provided a contingency fund for any future repairs – to be held in trust by GCL.

Questions were raised about speeding in the community. GCL would like to hear from residents so we can pursue the proper course of action. Changing speed limits or adding traffic calming devices requires a unified effort.


 

 Treasurer’s report

Treasure Joe Salaysay presented the GCL financial statements, which were audited by two board members (see attached). The community league is in a healthy position. He indicated there is nearly $90,000 in the playground account – which will rocket up once we add the $250,000 from the successful NPDP grant.

Griesbach Financial Statements at Feb 28, 2015 – Final


 

Canada Lands update

  • Doug VandenBrink revealed that an official announcement of the new developer for the long awaited Commercial Centre is expected in a couple of weeks, and that the intent is to start site work this summer.
  • Due to the downturn, Canada Lands will decide whether to proceed with the development on the site of their old office or the next stage in the southwest corner this year. The fourth lake/storm pond will be on hold for the moment.
  • He estimated development on the rental area is at least 5 to 7 years away.
  • Questions were asked about architectural standards. He admitted that guidelines have been relaxed as some of the initial requirements proved prohibitive to builders and were stalling development. They have received several complaints about a garage that was built with a pink frontal garage door, assuring residents that this violation has been addressed with the builder and it will be changed.

 

Social

Last year was quite successful as we built on past events, including an Art Walk as part of the Shake at the Lake. A reminder of two upcoming events: The 80’s themed Spring Fling Social and Playground Fundraiser (May 9th) and the Community Easter Egg Hunt (April 5).


Communications

Dave Neufeld encouraged everyone to visit the new and improved website (griesbachcommunity.com). The community league continues to get the message out on Facebook, Twitter and through quarterly newsletters (with e-versions available more or less monthly). Getting flags flying on a full time basis in Patricia Park was another initiative in 2014.


 

Neighbourhood Watch/ Edmonton Police

Neighbourhood Watch Director Milena Jusza explained GCL is working closely with Edmonton Police to monitor crime and have stepped up patrols around our lakes. She reminded us it is illegal to drive vehicles in parkland (such as Central Park and advised residents to report any incidents to police).

Troubling news was shared about a B&E along Patricia Lake this very day – in broad daylight – where the resident saw the intruder escaping through a window.

We were joined by our new Community Liaison Officer, Constable Jacqueline Buchanan – who trained at the RCMP Centre in our community, and has a close connection to Griesbach. Buchanan stressed the importance of calling the police if you witness and crimes or suspicious activity, and to get a detailed description of vehicles and licence plates whenever possible. The more reports they get, the more patrols will take place in our area.

She will be sharing regular crime updates with us and will work closely with our neighbourhood watch program.


 

Parks and Gardens

GCL is working with members of the Community Gardens to ensure our gardens are the pride of the community. We are also taking over the planting of flowers in the main traffic circle and are looking at a more vibrant design.


 

As you can see, it was a jam-packed agenda – which is a sign of a thriving community. Thanks to everyone for joining us. We look forward to another amazing year!