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Thursday, December 13, 2012

LSD Residents Debate User Fees Vs. Taxes

People in the 6 local service districts who use the River Valley Community Centre in Grand Bay Westfield are up in arms over a provincial plan to keep taxing them to use it or have them pay user fees.  

The facility's mortgage was paid off in July of 2011. 
Residents were upset about the lack of publicity with the previous vote on the matter. 

A letter from the province informing them of six information sessions arrived in their mail recently.

Brenda Rathburn who lives in Westfield West tells CHSJ News almost 12 thousand people pay taxes for the arena but only 180 people actually use it.

She says if you use it they don't mind paying a decent user fee but it you don't use people shouldn't have it taken out of their taxes.

A community session is coming up tonight at the Nerepis United Baptist Church at 7pm.
Another vote will be held January 7th.

Celebrating Learners With Turkey

The staff, board, volunteers and students of the Saint John Learning Exchange hosting their annual turkey dinner at Stone Church.
Executive Director Christina Fowler tells CHSJ News she loves doing the dinners.

She says they do it because they want to give back to the community for their partners and learners after another year of hard work.

Fowler adds the Learning Exchange does a lot involving food including some catering so its a good to celebrate and give back.

Tories Announce $280 Million For Transportation

The province announcing nearly $280 million dollars for buildings, bridges, highways, rural roads and equipment in the new Transportation budget.

The projects include over $12 million for the Route 7 Welsford Bypass, $10 million for work on the Harbour Bridge and more than 7 million for the One Mile House Interchange project in Saint John.

The department will also invest $44 million dollars into rural roads.

Common Council Told What's Needed To Get Rid Of Dangerous Buildings

Common Council will have more money to work with next year because of pension reform with the big question being where that will be spent.

Council has been told alot more could be done to deal with vacant and dilapidated buildings around the city with more funding. Council members appear to be receptive to that argument.

Buildings that are unoccupied and falling down have become inviting targets for arsonists.

City Building Inspector Amy Poffenroth would like to see funding returned to what it was in 2011 when 67 cases were resolved with either demolition or renovation.

She also says when the city adopts a more aggressive approach to getting rid of dangerous buildings, landlords get the message and either demolish or fix up.

Women's World Curling Championships Coming To Town

Hurry! Hard!

The 2014 Ford World Curling Championships will be held in Saint John's very own Harbour Station.

The event will run March 15-23. It's the first time the Port City has hosted a world championship since 1999.

City Posts Highest Apartment Vacancy Rate In Nation

It's a mixed blessing if you are in the market for a new apartment - Canada Mortgage and Housing says the city led the nation in October with the highest apartment vacancy rate coming in at 9.7-percent - up four percent from the same month last year.
And while that means more choice for apartment hunters - you can expect to pay more when you find one - C-M-H-C says the average rent for a two bedroom in the city has jumped 20-bucks to 691-dollars a month.
Moncton had the third highest vacancy rate in the country while Regina had the lowest.

Gas Prices Drop

Drivers are getting a bit of a price break after the weekly setting.

Self serve regular is going for $1.17.3 a litre around town, a decline of more than 2 cents. 

Diesel is also less expensive by a few cents at $1.33.6. 

Heating oil is more than 3 cents a litre cheaper at $1.13.1 and propane has a maximum price of 94.9 cents a litre, which is down a bit.