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Monday, January 9, 2012

City Bakery Closed Due To Mice Infestation

A City business is closed after a recent health inspection found many violations including an infestation of mice.

Public health conducting the food premises inspection on January 4th and the Batch Bakery on Main street has been closed ever since.

Douglas Walker of the Health Protection Branch tells CHSJ News in order to re-open the owners must follow up with all the recommendations the department made.

Walker says because they have an issue with mice droppings being found throughout the building, the owners must contact a pest control company and make sure that issue is under control.

The bakery was also cited for not having soap and paper towel accessible near a kitchen sink and in the staff bathroom.

KV Residents Do Not Want Commuter Tax According to KV Chamber of Commerce

The President of the Kennebecasis Chamber of Commerce says a possible commuter tax on KV residents entering Saint John will be a double-edged sword for everyone involved.

The chamber is currently looking for feedback from residents in the valley on how they feel about such a charge.

Camille Bordage tells CHSJ News the city will be shooting themselves in the foot if they impose it because less people will make the trip to Saint John.  However, he adds there would be positive spin-offs for the KV area as businesses in the valley would most likely get a boost.
He says feedback he has gotten so far indicates people would rather not have the tax at all.

Saint John's legal department is currently looking into the feasibility of a commuter or congestion tax.

Plan SJ Wants Balanced Transportation System

Finalisation of the city budget is into its final stages and it seems as if the city never has enough money to take care of the roads to the satisfaction of Saint Johnners. 

That was the impetus for the ideas of a congestion tax on suburban commuters. 

Chief Planner Ken Forrest is not offering up an opinion but concedes it's becoming more difficult to provide a wide array of city services when not all the users are paying the freight.
Forrest says Plan SJ will encourage people to use public transit and leave their vehicles at home. He charactises the approach as using carrots as opposed to sticks.

Cause Of West Side Inn Fire Unknown

The Saint John Fire department battling a mammoth blaze as part of the Inn On The Cove goes up in the flames.

District Fire Chief Joe Armstrong tells CHSJ News the call came in about 2:40 yesterday afternoon and firefighters remained on scene of the historic west side inn and spa until after 11pm last night.

He says no one was home at the time and a passerby noticed the fire, adding the cause and point of origin has not yet been determined.

Armstrong says it was a tough fire to fight because of the building's ballon frame construction and crews spent a lot of time chasing it.

Fire Destroys Fire Department and RCMP Office in Rogersville

The building housing Rogersville's fire department, municipal offices, and the local RCMP detachment going up in flames this morning.

Emergency crews getting the call around 5:30 this morning -- the entire building was destroyed but a rescue truck and pump truck were saved.

No one was hurt and no word yet on a cause.  Rogersville Fire Chief Marc Pitre does not believe the fire to be suspicious.

A mobile command post has been set up in the meantime for the RCMP detachment.

(photo courtesy of Gisele Caissie)

Historic Inn Destroyed By West Side Fire

A major fire destroys the turn of the century Inn on the Cove on Sand Cove Road overlooking the Bay of Fundy.

District Chief Peter Saab says the blaze was raging when fire crews arrived and quickly spread to the roof of the older part of the building.

The fire was contained to the older section. A new addition to the building was saved but did sustain smoke and water damage. It took firefighters 11 hours to finally extinguish the blaze.

There were no injuries and there's no word yet on a cause.

(Photo courtesy of Andrew Townsend)

Most Property Tax Collected In Saint John Is Taken Out Of City

The debate over a congestion tax or raising parking fees in the city has shone attention on the need for Saint John to get more money to operate. 

The city is funded primarily through property taxes but Deputy Mayor Stephen Chase says most of that money actually leaves the city including what people from the outlying areas spend at the malls.

Chase estimates 200 million dollars in property tax is leaving the city with only 19 million coming back in the form of the unconditional grant from the province.

City Budget Being Finalised

Common Council will be meeting late this afternoon in closed session as the city budget for this year is being finalised. 

Mayor Ivan Court says there will be no increase in the tax rate or cuts in services if the provincial government goes along with proposed changes to the city pension plan. 

The Mayor is looking forward to getting started this year on clean drinking water now that Harbour cleanup is ready to be taken off the city's books.

Water rates may be higher in Saint John but Court says there's a reason for that......The city is way ahead of other cities in Atlantic Canada when it comes to cleaner water. He estimates they will have to spend a billion dollars in Halifax to do what Saint John is completing this year.