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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Woods Not Ruling Out Pension Related Tax Increase

Despite denials from some civic politicians - a tax increase to cover off the civic pension 129-million dollar deficit remains a very distinct possibility according to City Manager Pat Woods.

Woods has released a statement indicating a limited number of new scenarios were presented to various employee groups during a meeting last week.

He says they were asked to give their feedback by the end of this month with the idea of presenting a recommendation to council in early October.

Woods says the objective is to make the pension plan affordable without imposing an excessive tax burden on property owners.
An earlier proposal by the city to resolve the pension deficit issue was rejected by the provincial government.

Fight Brewng Over Home Care In The Province

"It's like David taking on Goliath"--that's how the President of the Province's Home Care Association describes their fight with the Alward government.
Bob Price says a meeting in Saint John this morning with Finance Minister Blaine Higgs and Social Development Minister Sue Stultz did not go well.
The meeting to discuss the challenges facing home care and how government can help home care agencies keep seniors in their homes.

He says the government has figured out by themselves without talking to them that wages are the most important.
Prices says wages are important but, their workers have told them education and training are just as important to feel comfortable in their jobs.

Price says his group is heading to the Centennial building in Fredericton to inform the government to keep their 4.4 million dollars because they can afford it.

Weston Vows Clean Drinking Water Will Be A Reality

As the Harper government struggles to find four billion dollars in savings, that has some wondering if infrastructure projects like clean drinking water for Saint John may be put on the back burner?
The MP for Saint John Rodney Weston tells CHSJ News that is not the case.

Weston says restrain measures can be used that do not necessarily impact program funding.

Weston adds the province, the city and his office are meeting often and he feels good about the progress being made towards making safe drinking water a reality for the Port city.

Frustration Over Delays In Fixing Flood Problem At Oakville Acres

Disappointment.........That's the reaction of the people who live in Oakville Acres to delays in getting their flooding problem resolved.

Gary Howard, who spoke on behalf of the residents when they made their case to Rothesay Town council, tells CHSJ News there are holdups with two property owners, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans along wth the town of Quispamsis.

Howard says the solution is simple as well.......a detention pond and overflow pipes.
He adds the homeowners get nervous everytime heavy rain is on the way and some people can't use their basements or half of their homes never mind getting insurance on their house.

Saint John Man In Court Over March Drunk Driving Death

A 30 year old King Street East man charged with impaired driving causing death making a court appearance. 
Jordan Sullivan was charged after a two car collision last March which killed 50 year old Sheila Bayers on the Airport Arterial.

Sullivan will be back in court for a preliminary hearing January 4th which will determine if there's enough evidence to proceed to trial.

How A Chinese Teen Died Remains A Mystery

How the 17 year old student from China died at the Aquatic Centre remains a mystery. That word coming from Leo Maloney, who chairs the Aquatic Centre's board of commissioners.

Maloney tells CHSJ News they might have a better idea after an autopsy is carried out.

The teenager, who had just started at Simonds High, was found in the middle of the swimming pool near the bulkhead. 

As to whether, he was injured in while diving, Maloney tells us he can't confirm or deny but doesn't believe that to be true.

The parents of the boy are expected to be arriving in the city today.

Fire Destroys House Outside City

No injuries reported but a house at Garnett Settlement has been destroyed by fire.

The Simonds Fire Department telling us the call came in shortly after noonhour yesterday and it took fire crews with help from St. Martins, Hampton, the Kennebecasis Valley, Upham and Nauwwigewauk until 10:00 last night to knock it down.

There's no word yet on how it got started.

Gas Prices Tumble

If you didn't fill up yesterday, you're in luck......There has been a big drop in the price of gas after the weekly setting.

Self serve regular around town dropping by more than 4 cents a litre to an even $1.23.

Diesel has also fallen but not by as much and is going for $1.29.2 a litre. 

Heating oil has dropped below $1.14 a litre and is listed at $1.13.4 but propane is more expensive at more than 115 a litre.

Man Arrested For Holdup Of Convenience Store

City Police making an arrest in the robbery last week of the convenience store on Ellerdale Street by a man armed with a knife.

27 year old Kent Joseph Leblanc, who lived across the street, appeared in court and pleaded guilty. He'll be sentenced on October 4th.

City fire crews were kept busy with three collisions last night. The first one involving a motorcyle and resulting in injuries happened at Rothesay Road and Ashburn Lake Road.

There was a two vehicle crash on Westfield Road with no injuries and then three vehicles collided on City Road at Garden Street, again with no injuries.