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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

ACOA Gives $300K For Improvements To Rockwood Park

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is stepping up to the plate and giving the city more than 300 thousand dollars to help pay the cost of upgrading Rockwood Park. Mayor Ivan Court tells CHSJ News the city wants to clean up the duck pond but that by no means will be the end of the improvements.
He says in Phase 4 they will see improvements made to the trailer park with space for bigger trailers and more tents.

Work is also planned to enable people in wheelchairs to make their way around Lily Lake if they so desire, green up the park entrance and update the public gardens.

City Mulls Over Request To Improve Drainage Outside of Glen Falls

Common Council is being asked to spend 10 million dollars next year to improve drainage in several areas around town and less the risk of flooding which is now happening in places outside of Glen Falls. Councillor Bill Farren says homes on the west side have been flooded during severe storms and people are frustrated.
Farren says he can't imagine anything worse than having your basement flooded especially with sewage.

The head of Municipal Operations, Paul Groody estimates it will take three years to tackle the flooding issues facing the city.

Weston Can't Committ To More Money For Clean Drinking Water

Saint John's top man in Ottawa is not ready to say more funding is coming to ensure safe, clean drinking water in the city.
The city's finance commissioner says they can only contribute 10 per cent of the estimated 225 millon dollar cost.

Rodney Weston tells CHSJ News it's a concern to him as a politician and also as a resident in this city.

Weston says getting clean, safe drinking water for Saint John will be achieved through collaboration of all 3 levels of government and more discussion is needed.

Provincial Cheques Cut For Flood Victims

Provincial dollars already making their way to victims of flooding in the Charlotte County area.  Premier David Alward says a few cheques have been issued with more on the way.

He tells CHSJ News federal and provincial money will help but it won't be a magic bullet.

When asked if the military was close to being called in, Alward says they were in the loop but local contractors and the DOT had everything under control.

Free Well Testing Being Offered To Flood Victims

The province is offering free well water testing for those affected by the recent floods and rains.

Private well owners directly affected by flood waters or municipal homeowners whose plumbing was compromised are eligible for the testing.

Even though water can be used if it is brought to a roiling boil for at least one minute and then stored in clean containers, homeowners are being urged by health authorities not to use any well water until it has been disinfected and tested.

If there is any suspicion that the water has been contaminated by such things as furnace oil, gasoline or agricultural chemicals, the Department of the Environment should be contacted.

10 days after the water has receded in your area, your well should be chlorinated and then flushed with a water sample being taken seven days later for analysis.

Quispamsis Councillor Resigns

There will be a vacancy on Quispamsis Town Council. Councillor Gerry Maher is stepping down.

Maher tells CHSJ News he came to council with two major agendas.......... Increase the amount of ice time available and to push for amalgamation.

He will be going back into private business but will be following amalgamation talks very closely. His resignation is effective this Friday.

Maher ran for the Mayoralty in Saint John many years ago but lost to Elsie Wayne.

Tax Rate Remains Steady In Quispamsis

No jump in the tax rate for Quispamsis.

The town will be holding its tax rate steady at $1.21 per 100 dollars of assessment for next year.

Town Council passed the 2011 budget which sits at 19.7 million dollars.

Councillor Daryl Bishop is Chairman of the Finance Committee and he tells CHSJ News it's a feather in the cap to be able to keep the tax rate level.

 Police and fire each will be receiving about a 6 percent increase to their budgets.

Sewer rates will be going up by 12 dollars to 368 dollars a year but water rates will remain the same.

Rothesay And Quispamsis Contribute To Flood Relief In Charlotte County

Rothesay Council has voted to contribute 5 thousand dollars for flood relief in Charlotte County but the vote was not unanimous.

Scott Cochrane, who chairs the town's finance committee, along with Pat Gallagher Jette voted against. Both cited precedent despite saying it is a worthy cause. Gallagher Jette pointed out the town has its own unresolved flooding problem in Oakville Acres.

A few years ago, town council approved giving 25 thousand dollars after the tsunami in Asia.

Deputy Mayor Blair MacDonald put forward the initiative saying the flood victims are just 45 minutes down the road and, in his view, are neighbours in need of help.

Quispamsis town council also voted to contribute 5 thousand dollars with no one being opposed.

Tax Rate In Rothesay To Go Down Next Year

The tax rate in Rothesay next year is being lowered by 2 cents to $1.19 per 100 dollars worth of assessment. It's the third year in a row that the tax rate has gone down.

A 4.4 per cent increase in the tax base left the town with an extra million dollars despite a slight drop in the unconditional grant from the province.

Mayor Bill Bishop says the town is planning to introduce curbside recycling in the latter part of next year, possibly by July.

The town's contribution to police and fire services in the Valley is up by 5 per cent and 3.5 million dollars is earmarked to renovate the Rothesay Arena and for work at the Arthur Miller Fields.
The Mayor adds the town is also looking at building a mini arena that would be used by the younger children.
The typical household in Rothesay will be charged 675 dollars for water and sewage services next year which is a rise of 112 dollars.