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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

St. Joseph's Hospital Will Reopen Tomorrow

St. Joe's will be back open tomorrow morning after closing its doors today due to water issues. 

There was a problem with water pressure at St. Joseph's Hospital but it has since been fixed. The closure affected the operating rooms, all out-patient clinics and the Urgent Care Centre. 

Patients who needed care were being advised to visit another clinic or go to the ER at the Regional.

A Pipe Failure Forces Latest Boil Water Order

Add Lakewood Heights to the list of 2013 watermain breaks leading to another boil water order.

A pipe from 1800's failed early this morning meaning chlorine stopped entering the system.  

Saint John Water's Kendall Mason says because of the watermain failure the water being drawn from the lake was coming into fast and the chlorination system could not keep up so it was not being disinfected properly.

Doug Walker of the Department of Health explains why Forest Hills school shut down early due to low water pressure.

He says it becomes a concern especially in a school when you get into a situation where you can't use the washrooms and children can't wash their hands.

The City expects the boil water order will remain in effect until at least Friday.

The boil water order impacts 45,000 Saint Johners living east of the Reversing Falls bridge.

New Brunswickers Can Enroll In New NB Drug Plan As Of This Spring

New Brunswick Health Minister Ted Flemming rose in the legislature for a major announcement introducing the Prescription and Catastrophic Drug Insurance Act.

The Act will allow the government to establish the New Brunswick Drug Plan. Flemming calls it a momentous day in our province's history, rivaled only by the introduction of Medicare.

Liberal health critic Donald Arsenault responded with the rejoinder that while the opposition agrees in principle with the act, the Alward government should be apologizing to the taxpayers whose hopes they raised when they promised to have the plan completed in the first year of their mandate, considering it is now over three years later.

The Health Minister has said he refuses to apologize for taking the necessary time to carefully construct the plan.

New Brunswickers with a valid health care will be able to voluntarily enroll in the plan by May 1, 2014. For the full details of the plan click here

St. Joe's Closes Because Of Watermain Break

St. Joseph's Hospital has been closed because of the water problems on the east side.

This closure affected the operating rooms, all out-patient clinics and the Urgent Care Centre.

Patients needing care are being told to visit another clinic or go to the E-R at the Regional with the public being asked to not come to St. Joe's until further notice.

Major Facelift For Prince William Street

Prince William Street isn't the thriving commercial district it once was--but a $2.5 million  refurbishment program is going to bring the nationally-designated historic streetscape back to something of its former glory.

Common Councillor Donna Reardon suggested granite rather than concrete curbing would make sense given the importance of the project, especially since building owners in that area are required to bring their buildings up to the heritage code.

The granite curbing would cost $150,000 more than concrete--but the consensus around the council horseshoe seems to be that if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right.

Dentists Against Removing Fluoride From Water

Not everyone likes the idea of fluoride in the city's drinking water supply, whether it's a perceived taste issue, or simply because they don't like the thought of anyone putting medicine in their water.

However, according to New Brunswick Dental Society president and dentist Kelly Manning, fluoridated water is absolutely crucial to preventing tooth decay, especially in kids. She tells CHSJ News she sees a shocking rate of tooth decay as it is.

She tells CHSJ News saving the $177,000 dollars the city spends yearly on fluoride is a poor reason to compromise on public health, and if we take fluoride out we can expect to see a spike in tooth decay. Further, Manning says provinces like Ontario fluoridate their water and have reported no ill effects.

Alward Defends Provincially-Funded Ad

No doubt you have seen the ad during the commercial breaks on your favourite tv show.    

It's from the Province and features many New Brunswickers speaking about having to leave home to find work.

Premier David Alward says the ad sends a strong message to the folks working out west to not give up hope on be able to return home someday.

He says our young people and men and woman don't have the opportunities to stay home and build their lives here.

So how will the province sold the problem? Alward suggests the work the province is doing on developing our natural resources and investing in innovation will do the trick.

You can check out the ad yourself by clicking here

Water Problems Close St. Joe's

The water problems in the City forcing the closure of St. Joe's.

Operating rooms and all out-patient clinics at St. Joseph’s Hospital have been closed.

The Urgent Care Centre is closed until further notice. 

Patients needing care should arrange to visit another clinic or go to the ER at the Regional.

The public is asked to not come to St. Joe's until further notice.

Low Water Or A Lack Of Water Causing Problems

Some inconvenient fallout from the East side watermain break this morning.

Several residents and business owners both east and uptown are complaining of low water pressure or a complete lack of water.

As a result, Forest Hills school is closing for the day and all Saint John Y afterschool programming and evening events are cancelled.

The Village at the Loch Lomond Villa had to postpone their Christmas dinner scheduled for today for 300 family members and residents. 

It's re-scheduled for Thursday.

CHSJ News asked the city when the water pressure may be returning to normal and they told us they will provide an update as soon as they can.

Water Rates In City Going Up In 2014

Your household water bill is going to be going up in the new year.

With the newly-approved 2014 water and sewerage capital budget, the domestic water rate will be rising by 7%--which is an extra $6 per month, or $72 per year.

City Manager Bill Edwards explains the increase should come as no surprise, given all the much needed improvements that are going to be undertaken with the water system.

The increase will come into effect regardless of council's decision about the future of fluoridating the water supply.

Boil Water Order For Most Of City

A boil water order has been issued for everyone living east of the Reversing Falls Bridge because of a water main break on a transmission line near the Lakewood Heights Pump Station on the east side.

 Due to the water main break there was increased water flow at the Latimer Lake Treatment Facility resulting in insufficient chlorine being added to disinfect the water.

The West side, west of the Reversing Falls Bridge, is not affected. The boil water order is expected to last until early next week.

Watermain Breaks On East Side

There has been a big watermain break on Fish Hatchery Road off Lomand Road on the east side near the Little River Reservoir.

Rothesay Delivers 2014 Budget

Rothesay residents won't have to dig any deeper into their pockets next year when it comes to paying their taxes.

The town's budget for 2014 showing the tax rate for the community remaining steady at $1.19. Mayor Bill Bishop tells CHSJ News the water usage rate, on the other hand, is going up by ten cents per cubic meter and the sewer rate is increasing by twenty dollars.

Next year, $2.8-million will go toward street surfacing and $1.2-million to sidewalk improvements. $6-million will go toward design costs and phase one construction for a new arena, while more than $2-million will be used for major improvements to the Rothesay Common including a new building, drainage improvements and an artificial ice surface. Bishop says they also plan to increase the quality of the town's water.

The town's total operating budget is up by 0.32% while the unconditional grant dropping by 31%.

Just What Tires Are Legal In Rothesay?

Rothesay Regional Police have been flooded with calls and emails about what tires are legal in the town of Rothesay which has declared snow tires are required during the winter.

Police point out the by-law in question refers specifically to “winter traction tires”. Tires labeled mud and snow, all-season, all-weather or snow tires are considered to be traction tires. 

Traction tires may have a mountain or snowflake symbol.

Police add all-season tires can be used year round but snow and studded snow tires should only be used in the winter.