Burnaby NewsLeader

Edmonds town hall draws 170 people

Organizers of a town hall held in the Edmonds community Tuesday night were "thrilled" that it attracted about 170 people.

Joyce Rostron, former president of the Edmonds Business and Community Association (EBCA), said the crowd filled the gym at Edmonds school and generated many ideas during the community-building exercise.

The meeting was held partly to find new blood and ideas to rejuvenate the flagging EBCA but also to address concerns arising from residents not knowing what changes are being planned in the neighbourhood, where redevelopment of a number of sites is on the horizon, Rostron said. The audience was assured by Burnaby city planning staff that there will be public consultations as projects such as redevelopment of the Value Village site move forward.

Participants were asked during the visioning exercise to express what they want or need in the community.

"People started talking, the place was humming."

The ideas generated varied widely, she said, with people identifying as needs everything from more low-income housing and job opportunities to a 10-year-old boy's request for a hospital so when his grandma gets sick again it will be easier to get her help.

Tuesday's participants and other community members will be invited to a follow-up meeting on Tuesday, March 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Edmonds school. That's when the ideas that were "harvested" will be discussed further including how people can get involved to make the visions a reality.

Rostron noted that the process will involve residents, businesses, community groups and Burnaby city hall.

"Everybody wins actually when everybody knows what everybody wants."

As for the EBCA, it is still seeking people to get involved in the organization, which serves as the voice of area residents and businesses. Rostron said she expects it will go through its own planning process over the next month to help determine its future direction.

If it wants to hold an annual general meeting and recruit new members, "we need to let people know what our vision is," she said.

Anyone interested in attending the March 26 meeting and receiving community updates is asked to email edmondscom@gmail.com.



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