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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Environment Canada Warning of Storm Surges

Environment Canada is warning those living between Miamichi and Bouctouche of a storm surge. 

Environment Canada is predicting a storm surge of between 2.6 - 3.0 metres along the eastern provincial coast.

Environment Canada says people in low-lying areas should be prepared to move to higher ground as well as evacuating on short notice.

District emergency operations centres have been activated in Miramichi, Bathurst, Dieppe and Caraquet.

No Charges to Be Laid In Death of St. Stephen Teen

No charges are being laid in the death of 18 year old Matt Haley, a former St. Stephen High School student killed in an ATV accident just days before his graduation.

A 17 year old classmate who survived the crash will not be charged. 

The Crown Prosecutor has determined that there is insufficient evidence to go ahead with any charges.

New Councillor Did Want to Weigh In On Water Rate Debate

The new Councillor for Ward 3 is disappointed but, not too upset he didn't get to weigh in on the water rate increase at Common council.
Mel Norton tells CHSJ News there will be many opporotunities for him to discuss issues and vote in January.

He says he would have liked to take part in the discussion and vote.
Norton says in the campaign water came up as the #1 livability factor for people considering moving here and for those who are living here on whether or not to stay.

Norton will be sworn as the Ward 3 councillor this Friday at 10am at city hall.

Mayor Concedes Pension Plan Woes Causing Grief As Common Council Deliberates Over Next Year's Budget

The only crisis the city is facing is a pension crisis.........So says Mayor Ivan Court who tells CHSJ News if it weren't for the pension plan's woes, the city would have had its budget signed, sealed and delivered by now and it would be balanced.

Common Council won't have the budget ready until next month and is awaiting word from the province on whether it will be given some slack on its financial obligations to the pension plan over the next year.

It wants to defer paying into the pension plan for a year.

You Can Help Flood Victims At The Liquor Store

When your picking up your Christmas hooch this week, you can also make a donation to flood relief.

The Red Cross is launching a province-wide appeal for donations to help the hundreds forced from their homes by flooding last week in St. Stephen, St. George and Fredericton areas.
You can make donations starting today at all 47 NB Liquor corporate stores.
Staff at the stores are collecting donations from 9am to 10pm until Thursday and from 9am to 5pm on Christmas Eve.  The Red Cross is providing supplies and helping to manage comfort stations in Fredericton, Oromocto, Burtts Corner, St. George and Bonny River.

Quispamsis And Rothesay Reveal 2011 Budgets Tonight

Quispamsis presenting its 2011 budget tonight and Mayor Murray Driscoll says it should be smooth sailing.
He tells CHSJ News despite some new wrinkles like the 1 percent reduction in the provincial unconditional grant and the property assessment freeze, the town is well-managed.

He says those are always concerned and he says they know money is tight and there is a job ahead for government.
Tonight's council meeting goes at 7 o'clock at Quispamsis Town Hall. Rothesay Council will also be releasing its budget for next year at a special meeting in the town hall. It gets underway at 8:00.

Chase Thinks Norton Should Have Voted

Deputy Mayor Stephen Chase says Councillor-Elect Mel Norton has been disrespected.
Chase says the vote on the water rate hike should have been done after Norton has been sworn-in so that Norton could have input on the file.

Chase tells CHSJ News Norton has said publicly that clean drinking water is an important issue to him.
He says Norton was hearing a lot of concerns about water and Chase adds he has to live with this for the remainder of his term.
Chase says the vote should have been pushed to the New Year.

Offers Of Assistance Present New Challenge In Charlotte County

Offers of help continue to pour into Charlotte County in the wake of last week's flash flooding.  
St Stephen town administrator John Ferguson tells CHSJ News it's a matter of now trying to coordinate that assistance to make sure it reaches as many of those needing help as possible.
Meantime - Ferguson says town crews have had a chance to rest up and all equipment is ready to respond to any new storm that may hit the area.

Fundraising Breakfast For Flood Relief A Big Success

Over 500 people got up early for a fundraising breakfast to support the flood victims of Charlotte County.
The event put together very quickly last week by the Delta and Brunswick Square.
General Manager Paulette Hicks tells CHSJ News this turnout is what she was hoping for.
Hicks says when putting the event together they kept in mind that people are busy but, they want the people affecting by flooding to know that people here care about them.

Saint John MP Rodney Weston says the community has empathy for the people of Charlotte county over the devastation at this time of year.  Weston worked for Cooke Aquaculture and he says they have really stepped up to help their own employees and others. The final numbers are still coming in but the event brought in at least $10, 000 for the Charlotte County Relief Fund.

Shortlived Crime Spree Ends With Arrest In North End

A 30 year old man is in the lockup this morning facing several charges after a hit and run, breakin and an attempt to elude police.

They tell CHSJ News there was a hit and run reported close to 12:30 this morning on Rothesay Road at the bridge followed a few minutes later by a breakin at the Torryburn Irving.

Police then spotted the car they were looking for on Metcalf Street. The driver took off but his damaged vehicle broke down before he could get back on the highway.

It's believed all the incidents are connected.

Increased Water Rates Approved Overwhelmingly By Common Council

Common Council approving new water rates for 2011 but not without objections from Deputy Mayor Stephen Chase.

The new rates mean an 8.3 per cent increase next year and 11.1 per cent rise in 2012 for both metered and flat rate

He charges the new rates go back on promises made to the public.

Chase says jacking up rates is not the way to get the city clean drinking water, instead suggesting the city should be asking the province to allow the city to use it's capital budget for operations or to look at long term borrowing.

The Deouty Mayor was the only nay vote around the Council horseshoe.

Common Councillor Wants City To Help Some People Pay Higher Water Bills

The city looking into lending a hand for those who may have problems paying the new water rates.

Common Council has approved a motion put forward by Bruce Court for the city manager and solicitor to look into the idea.

 Court is wondering when the yearly increases will come to an end saying it's going to be tough for a good many Saint Johnners.

Municipal Works Commissioner Paul Groody says the problem is the water system in the city has been taken for granted for far too long and the city is playing catch up.

City Manager Pat Woods says he will look into it but notes there could be legal complications with that sort of plan.

Saint John Business Community Hosting Fundraiser For Flood Victims

If you get out of bed a little earlier this morning, you can have breakfast and help out the flood victims of Charlotte County.

The Delta and Brunswick Square teaming up for a fundraising breakfast with all proceeds going to the fund for those devastated by flooding.

General Manager Paulette Hicks says Charlotte County residents are great supporters of the Saint John business community and this is a meaningful way of engaging the community of Greater Saint John.

Tickets are 25 dollars for adults and 10 dollars for children. Parking in the Brunswick Square garage is free those attending.

The event starts at 7 and runs until 9 this morning.

Quispamsis And Rothesay To Unveil 2011 Budgets Tonight

Quispamsis Mayor Murray Driscoll isn't expecting any major surprises in tonight's 2011 budget presentation.

He tells CHSJ News even with the 1 percent reduction in the provincial unconditional grant and the property assessment freeze, everything should be okay.

Tonight's council meeting goes at 7 O'clock at Quispamsis Town Hall.

 Rothesay Town Council will also be unveiling its budget for next year during a special town hall meeting tonight getting underway at 8:00.