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Thursday, November 24, 2011

2012 Municipal Tax Base Released

The province releasing the 2012 municipal tax base and Saint John and the surrounding areas are all in the black ink.

Figures show the tax base in Saint John has gone up by about 319 million dollars while assessments in Quispamsis sand Rothesay have also gone up -- 85 million and 45 million respectively.

According to Local Government Minister Bruce Fitch, the tax bases for municipalities and rural communities have increased by $1.95 billion.

That means $29.5 million in new tax revenue.

Students Ready For Tin Can Challenge

Get ready to see some crazy shapes like boats and dragons made from canned goods -- the 4th Annual Tin Can Challenge takes place tonight which has students compete in a giant sculpture-building contest in order to raise awareness about homelessness and the needy.

Project Coordinator Colin McDonald tells CHSJ News we have a homelessness problem here in the city but it tends to be hidden as we don't have clusters of people on the streets.

He says homeless youth tend to couch surf until they overstay their welcome.

He adds we need to have an emergency shelter for youth that will get them off the street as quickly as possible.

The 4th Annual Tin Can Challenge gets underway at 7 o'clock at the Marco Polo Cruise Terminal.

Flag Flies For AIDS Awareness Week

There's a new flag on the flying on the pole outside of city hall.

The Mayor raising a flag for AIDS Awareness Week.

Executive Director of AIDS Saint John Julie Dingwell tells CHSJ News there are still a lot of misconceptions about HIV and AIDS, such as some people believing there is currently a cure for the disease.

She says stigma and discrimination is still present for people with HIV and they're afraid if people found out they are infected, it would cost them their job or home.

According to the Canadian AIDS Society, the cost of HIV is $1.3 Million per person infected.

Municipal Operations Defends Street Plowing In the Storm

The City's Municipal Operations department defending it's work clearing streets and sidewalks in yesterday's storm.
Kevin Rice tells CHSJ News says the City's equipment and personnel were as prepared as they possibly could be.

He says the motorists on the road did not have winter tires and did not drive appropriate to the conditions.  Rice tells us he takes issue with comments being made that they were not prepared and the roads were in bad shape.

Rice says he'd invite people to look at all other municipalities in the Maritimes along with bigger cities including Montreal and Ottawa who experienced the very same conditions yesterday.

Plowing By Province During Storm Criticised

It likely won't help as you are shovelling out but yesterday's snowfall was record-breaking.

With 20 centimetres by last night, we shattered a 55-year-old record set back in 1956 when when got 17.5 centimetres.

(Photo Courtesy of Joe Comeau)

Not everyone is happy with the plowing that was done. Carter Lang, who works at Point Lepreau and lives along Route 845 on the Kingston Peninsula, tells CHSJ News he barely made it home last night and the plowing that was done is in stark contrast to the standards in past years.

Lang fears what will happen in the rural areas this winter if more snowplows are taken out of service because of the sky high deficit.

Saint John Cleans Up After Getting Hammered

The cleanup continues this morning in the aftermath of the first snowstorm of the season which hit Saint John hard. 

City Police say there were more than 50 crashes by late afternoon but curiously just a few in the Valley. The most serious collision involved three vehicles on Loch Lomand Road by the Villa that sent one man to hospital. 

20 centimeters of snow had fallen by 9 last night. By contrast Yarmouth got only 4 centimeters and just a dusting in Fredericton but Halifax received 31 centimeters.

The Department of Transportation says it will be in charge of the winter maintenance along the Harbour Bridge at a cost of 275 thousand dollars.

The long range weather forecast is calling for milder temperatures beginning tomorrow lasting right through next Thursday and we are expecting rain on Sunday night.

Gas Prices Drop

You'll be paying less for gas after the weekly setting.

Self serve regular has dropped again by over 2 cents a litre while diesel has also gone down by almost 3 and a half cents. 

Heating Oil is also lower at $1.19.7 a litre. That's a decline of almost 3 cents while propane did go up by almost a cent to $1.16.3.