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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fare Increases Coming For Bus Riders Next Year

You will need a little more jingle in your pocket to hop on the City bus next year.
Saint John Transit increasing adult fares by a quarter to $2.75 as of January 1st, while for seniors and passengers 14 and under will go up to $2.50.
General Manager Frank McCarey tells CHSJ news he expects their users will be disappointed to hear fares are going up.
He realizes some people will find the increase very difficult

On February 1st, monthly passes go up to $70 for adults, $60 for students and $50 for seniors. He says the increase is needed because of increasing costs and city's ability to support them is challenged so to keep the level of service they need to increase fares.

For the complete list of fare increases, click here

Fear Over Funding For Universities

The best days of public funding for universities are behind us -- that from Alex Usher of Higher Education Strategy Associates.  He tells CHSJ News the rise of tuition fees will be faster in the next 10 years than in recent memory but affordability will not be an issue as student aid programs will adjust to compensate.  He says they find ways of helping students as long there is student aid available.

He adds even with the trend of tuition increases, there are more low-income people attending post-secondary schools than than there were fifteen years ago.
Usher was a guest speaker at the UNB Petition Celebration.

Flood Waters Recede In St. Stephen

The water are receding and the state of emergency has been lifted in the Bordertown after severe flooding from yesterday's storm.
Town Manager John Ferguson tells us the rain stopped at midnight and the water started dissipating.
He says by 8 this morning they had withdrawn the local state of emergency and focused on the two roads experienced the most flooding.
The roads are Milltown Boulevard and the King Street bridge near the Charlotte Mall.  Ferguson adds they will be assessing those roads before they are re-opened to the public.

NB Power Is Getting The Lights Back On

Just over 6700 NB Power customers are without power because of last night's storm. Outages in Moncton, Sussex and Rothesay are affecting nearly 5300 homes and businesses.

NB Power Communications Officer Meghan Gerrish tells CHSJ News in addition to the NB Power crews and contractors working to get power back on, they have tree trimming crews working with them.

Fire At St. Stephen Business

Crews from St. Stephen, Oak Bay and Calais battling a blaze in the bordertown today.

The fire is at the corner of Queen street and Main street at Pierce's Plumbing and Heating.

Flooding Problems In Fredericton and Stephen

The Red Cross is reporting at least 40 people were evacuated from several homes north of Fredericton because of flooding including Burtts Corner, Nashwaak Bridge, Hoyt and Tracy.

A State of Emergency was declared in St. Stephen due to flooding in the town.   To see video of the flooding click here.  (Video courtesy of Alexander Cheney)

10,000 Are Still In The Dark

Over 10,000 homes and businesses are still in the dark in the province.
That number includes over 2300 in Rothesay and Quispamsis and more than 1600 in Sussex.
Moncton has the largest outage with over 4400 in the Hub City without electricity.
NB Power's Meghan Gerrish tells CHSJ News these outages are due to high winds and rain overnight causing tree branches to hit power lines.
She says their crews are working as safely and efficiently as possible to restore power.

Torrential Rain And High Winds Batter Parts Of Province

A state of emergency has been declared in St. Stephen caused by the heavy rain. The emergency area stretches from King Street North at the Charlotte Mall entrance south to Milltown Boulevard and Queensway.

Mayor Jed Purcell tells CHSJ News there has been severe flooding with further property damage being a concern. Water has seeped into stores, according to the Mayor. One-third of Milltown Boulevard is compromised and the integrity of that portion of roadway is uncertain. Several roads surrounding St. Stephen have been closed as well but Highway one is open.
As of early this morning, NB Power is reporting 132 outages around the province affecting more than 11,700 customers. There are 11 outages in the Rothesay region which includes Grand Bay-Westfield leaving 3,700 customers in the dark.
The Red Cross is reporting at least 40 people were evacuated from several homes north of Fredericton because of flooding including Burtts Corner and Nashwaak Bridge. Flash flooding has also been reported in St. Andrews and Deer Island.

Fire Budget In Valley Slashed

The K-V Fire Department has made good on its directive to shave 75 thousand dollars off its 2011 budget.

Some of the additional cuts include changing an administrative assistant from full time with benefits to a part timer without benefits. A new full-time fighter will also be starting in July rather than January.

Mayor Bill Bishop tells CHSJ News it wasn't an easy thing to ask.

The budget is 7.2 percent higher than the 2010 budget, coming in at about 3.64 million dollars.

First Meeting To Be Held To Talk About Amalgamation In K-V

The first meeting between Rothesay and Quispamsis to discuss the possibility of amalgamation is set to take place over the next week but it's being described as exploratory.

Rothesay mayor Bill Bishop tells CHSJ News the mayor of Quispamsis Murray Driscoll wants to get the ball rolling.

Bishop says the first meeting will gauge the see lay out the groundwork on possible topics and challenges they could face.

He says nothing is set in stone and if they were to proceed down the path of amalgamation, they would need to bring in a third party to assist them.

Commuters From Valley May Have To Pay More For Bus Service Into City

It may cost you more to ride the K-V Comex in the New Year.

The Saint John Transit Commission making an application to the Energy and Utilities Board for a fare increase.
The rate jump will see fares go from $3.25 to $3.50 and a monthly pass will go from 99 dollars to 109 dollars.

The Commission says even with the rate increase, the service will still not break even.
A public hearing will be held on January 17th.

If you want to oppose the application, go to our website for details.