Bedford, incorporated in 1953 with a population of 475, is now a mature city of 49,000 almost entirely built out. Currently we are in an era of revitalization and rebranding, balanced with planned economic growth. Our bold new logo and message, Discover the Center, speaks not only to our vitality as a city but our excellent Metroplex location as well. The state of the art Bedford Public Library, the new Parks Master Plan and the Revised Comprehensive Land Use Plan are the result of our goals to foster economic growth while protecting the strength of our neighborhoods. Citizen involvement has been a key ingredient in all these endeavors.
Despite the challenges of the Highway 183 Expansion, the first three quarters of the fiscal year have brought us over 70 new businesses. The Shop Bedford First initiative, a free online program for businesses to advertise events, specials and coupons, is well underway with nearly 150 businesses participating to date.
In addition to attracting businesses, we are focusing on developing new dimensions of identity for our City. Bedford has established a Cultural Commission to oversee the emerging cultural district, which will initially include the historic Boys Ranch Park, the Old Bedford School and the new library. The area represents a comfortable blending of history, visual arts, theater and music with modern technology and green initiatives. Bedford continues to evolve as a well-rounded community that is the pride of its citizens while also attracting new businesses and residents, and providing cultural and heritage enrichment for both residents and visitors.