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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Intelligence based policing is working in Saint John

(Saint John Police Chief Bill Reid)
(photo by Tamara Steele)

Positive news from the Saint John Police Force on crime reduction. The Police Commission has been informed that intelligence led policing has resulted in a reduction of the numbers for break and enters and auto theft.
Chief Bill Reid tells CHSJ News that what these numbers really represent is quality of life.
In 2009, they had a 28 per cent reduction in the number of break and enters and a 18 per cent reduction in stolen autos.
To learn more on crime reduction economics go to:

New library for The Valley

A question mark remains hanging over the future of the Ken Valley library. The library board meets this week and is struggling with whether to expand or build new. Rothesay Councilor, Don Shea tells CHSJ News many factors need to be considered.Whether or not it should be located in the centre of the Valley, combined with district 8 or be part of a larger complex. Shea says he prefers the option of building new. The current library in Quispamsis wasn't designed to expand vertically, which would require more land.

Rothesay Meets With Premier Graham

      (Town of Rothesay Coat of Arms)

With a $3 to $4 million dollar solution on the table for recent flooding issues in Oakville Acres, The Town of Rothesay is looking for some funding help from Fredericton and Ottawa. Officials recently had a one on one meeting with Premier Graham and Deputy mayor Blair MacDonald tells CHSJ News, there are no commitments at this time.

The Town is also looking to secure funding for renovations to the Rothesay Arena which incoude re-locating and expanding the lobby and an upgrade for changing rooms. In order to do that, the Town is looking to secure property between the building and Scott Avenue.

Four Open Houses To Discuss Cresent Valley

(Social Development and Housing Minister Kelly Lamrock)
                             (File Photo)

There are four community information sessions regarding the Cresent Valley Master Plan over the next week and the first goes tonight. The Graham Government has unveiled a 20-year, five phase proposal that would add 1373 new homes in the area along with new and updates to current green spaces.

Along with tonight's meeting, there is one scheduled for Thursday of this week and then Tuesday and Thursday of next week as well. They all get started at seven o'clock at the Resource Center in Cresent Valley.

More Conversation Concerning Valley Fire Budget

       (Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop)
                 (File Photo)

After weeks of bickering, it appears an impasse may have been reached between the Towns of Rothesay and Quispamsis. Both have been at odds about the Kennebecasis Fire Department budget with Quispam looking to hire a new fire-fighter even though there needs to be a $100 thousand dollar cut in the budget. Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop says the issue was discussed in closed session at last night's meeting and expects an announcement on what conclusion they have come up in the coming days.

Bishop adds it is a delicate issue and wants to make sure the wording of a letter indicates what the Town really means.

Proposed Changes to Scribner Cresent

(Director of Development Services for Rothesay Gay Drescher)
                        (Photo by Jim Hennessy)

Proposed changes to Scribner Court in Rothesay only has one hurdle left to clear. First and Second reading was approved at last night's council meeting with the third and final vote to be heard next month. The application is to re-zone a single property on the northern boundary of the property to residential two family. The area is vacant except for a private tennis court which won't stay if the re-zoning is approved.

The plan for the area is to build a semi-detached building to live in one half and sell the other. There was no one on hand to speak against the proposed re-zoning.

Grand Bay Council Calls for Pay Equity

(Grand Bay Westfield Mayor Grace Losier)
               (File Photo)

Grand Bay council is waiting into the debate over pay equity in the private sector. The council is sending a letter to the premier, asking for legislation. Mayor Grace Losier tells CHSJ news it's a issue whos time has come.

Council picked National Womens day to approve the decision to send the letter.

One City Councilor Wants Streetcars to Return

They roamed city streets years ago -- and -- if Councilor Patty Higgins has her way -- streetcars will once again have a place in our streetscapes. Higgins says with cheaper hyrdo power becoming available -- replacing buses with streetcars makes economical and environmental sense.

Higgins says the streetcars would be quieter and also be a tourist attraction.

Premier Calls Increases In Property Tax Bills "Unacceptable"

(Premier Shawn Graham)
(File Photo)

If homeowners feel they're being gouged after receiving their property tax bills, Premier Shawn Graham says they should be talking to their municipal Mayors and Councillors because he maintains the province tried to keep any increases in the assessments from being over the top. Graham charges the vast majority of municipalities chose not to follow the legislation.
The Premier is promising what he calls a more proactive approach without being specific about what he has in mind. Mayor Ivan Court says a cap on assessments would be the worst thing that could happen in Saint John because the city wouln't be able to operate financially. He claims there are many properties in the city that are undervalued. Quispamsis Mayor Murray Driscoll points out the tax rate in his town has been dropping but housing prices have been escalating well above the rate of inflation and this is a factor in rising property assessments.

Rothesay Mayor Supports Expansion of McKay Highway

(Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop)
(File Photo)

Making a section of Highway One six lanes between Rothesay and Saint John gets the thumbs up from the Mayor of Rothesay. Bill Bishop tells CHSJ News he is thrilled the area is getting some much needed attention.
Bishop adds traffic in the area near the fire station has been a nightmare to say the least for the longest time. A final draft of the project is expected soon with construction set to get started this summer and finish up in 2013.

Construction Set To Start On The Two Busiest Streets In Grand Bay-Westfield

(Grand Bay-Westfield Mayor Grace Losier)
(File Photo)

Two of Grand Bay-Westfield's busiest streets will get a facelift.
The project includes storm sewers on the Woolastook and Inglewood drive this year and resurfacing next year. Along with River Valley Drive, Woolastook and Inglewood provide access to all of the town's subvisions and streets.
Mayor Grace Losier tells CHSJ news the work begins this spring and will be complete before the summer 2011.

Trade And Convention Centre Receives City Funding As It Faces Competition

(Market Square)
(File Photo)

The city is earmarking 550-thousand dollars for the proposed upgrade and expansion of the Trade and Convention Center at Market Square. City manager Pat Woods says the money will move the project forward.
Meantime -- Woods says negotiations will begin with the Hardman Group for additional space for the expansion while other funding sources will be sought.
The plan calls for construction on the 6 to 8-million dollar project to begin early in the New Year. Saint John now faces some competition for the convention business.
The City of Fredericton says it should start seeing the economic return on its new convention centre as early as December.
Sales director Cathy Pugh says interest is already being expressed in the centre and the adjoining, 700-seat Playhouse theatre.
The 24 (m) million dollar convention centre, which is part of a larger complex, is slated to open in December.
Pugh says she already has 12 tentative bookings lined up that will see events held through 2015.