© 2019 VOCTADA

History:

WHO IS VOCTADA AND WHAT DO THEY DO?
 

VOCTADA is the Village of Chester Tourism and Development Association

But many people are under the impression that VOCTADA is interested only in the development and promotion of tourism.  In fact we are a ‘not-for-profit’ group of residents working:

 

  • to improve the appearance of our Village so that we take even greater pride in our community, 

  • to encourage the type of tourism that will fit in with and benefit the life of our community,

  • to work on issues that members and the community identify (e.g. through surveys) and which are then selected by a vote of members (e.g. public safety and security), and

  • to work on selected issues through direct action, through joint action with other voluntary sector groups and through advocacy with appropriate bodies     

VOCTADA IS A GROUP OF YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS, WORKING TOGETHER FOR A BETTER COMMUNITY FOR US ALL!

 

The following are examples of our members’ work.

 

  • VOCTADA spearheaded renovation of our Front Harbour by organizing three levels of government to upgrade Water Street and to construct the new park that provides residents and visitors with a lovely view of our Harbour.

  • VOCTADA launched (as well as initially funded, with local merchants) the attractive hanging baskets of flowers in our Village (now funded by the Chester Village Commission).

  • VOCTADA organized and led the successful movement to have the Back Harbour Wharf replaced with a satisfactory design after it was demolished by the Municipality in 2001.

  • VOCTADA (with help from the Chamber of Commerce and Municipality) designed the widely used road maps of the Village and Municipality.    Strategically located street signs now direct visitors down our main roads to mounted maps in the Village centre.

  • VOCTADA worked closely with local government to institute stricter zoning in the Village core and to generate some form of architectural controls on new buildings.

  • VOCTADA arranged funding from the Provincial Government and the Chester Village Commission to upgrade the badly deteriorating roads and sidewalks of the ‘downtown Tee’ area of our Village (Queen Street, Pleasant Street and Duke Street). 

 

These are virtually the only public improvements that took place in Chester in the past five years.  It is safe to say that, without VOCTADA, none of these developments would have taken place at all.

 

Examples of other kinds of initiatives include the following

 

  • VOCTADA held a well-attended public forum in 2001 to encourage our residents and merchants to discuss the type and degree of tourism that we wanted.   Consensus of our meeting was that tourism makes a major contribution to the economy of our Village.  Without it we would lose many features that are extremely important to us.  But tourism must be carefully planned so that we do not lose other aspects of Chester that are equally dear to us.

  • As a follow-up to that forum in 2003, VOCTADA wrote and distributed an extensive ‘Tourism Action Plan to guide the growth of tourism within the community.  This plan is based on the outcome of the forum, as well as consultation with many other civic groups, and responses to questionnaires mailed out by VOCTADA to all households in the Village.  The plan was then provided to groups such as the Chamber of Commerce for action. 

  • In 1996, VOCTADA again undertook a process of public consultation regarding improvements residents would like to see made. The result is the “Village of Chester Improvement Plan” developed by Environmental Design & Management (EDM) which you may read here. Some of the projects identified, and successfully completed by the appropriate organizations were: “Welcome to Chester” signs; realignment of waterfront parking; front harbour promenade; Duke Street sidewalk; Lordly Manor; and a children’s playground.

  • In 2009, VOCTADA again undertook public consultation to determine next steps for improvements. Besides a very well-attended public forum, EDM and VOCTADA committee members conducted interviews with a wide spectrum of individuals and groups. The result is the 2010 “Village of Chester Improvement and Development Plan” which you may read here. Some of the projects identified and successfully completed by various groups, Village Commission and the Municipality:  Public Washroom (Lido); completion of the Duke Street sidewalk; designation of the Old Stone Bridge as a Provincial Heritage Site; repairs to the Victoria Street Retaining Wall; and Lido Park amenities. 

  • VOCTADA’s tree planting committee has implemented Phase I for trees in Chester downtown with a combination of volunteers, contributors and some municipal support to maintain the trees.  Phase 2 in the wider community is underway this year.

  • VOCTADA has initiated several forums for local and provincial electoral candidates.

  • VOCTADA worked with other volunteers to have the Old Stone Bridge named a heritage site

  • VOCTADA intervened with Loblaws at the national level to significantly alter the original proposal to the external appearance of the enlarging of the Save Easy - including immediate neighbours of the store in the meetings.

That’s why, if we care about our Village, we should all be members of VOCTADA

 

  • Financially, VOCTADA is an extremely efficient organization.  We are all volunteers

  • Our annual membership is $20 for individuals and $25 for families.  For convenience, members requested we set up a 5-year fee of $80 for individuals and $100 for families.

 

However governments are not impressed with requests from a few people.  We must maintain our membership at a level where we will be heard, and, where necessary, can exert influence.  Together, we can continue to make the difference.

 

  • VOCTADA works to improve features of our Village that are important to us all.  Every one of us invests our time and energy in the appearance and life of our community.  VOCTADA enhances and protects our investment.

  • Most of VOCTADA’s efforts involve persuading various levels of government to make the improvements that our residents think are necessary.

 

 

SUPPORT VOCTADA BY BECOMING A MEMBER TODAY. REMEMBER, VOCTADA IS A GROUP OF YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS WORKING TOGETHER FOR A BETTER COMMUNITY FOR EVERYONE, AND THERE IS STILL MUCH TO DO.