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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Companies File $880,000 In Liens Over Algonquin Renos

An iconic provincial hotel may be in some hot water.

Reports say several companies have filed liens against Southwest Properties and Newcastle Developments, the owners of the Algonquin Hotel and Resort in St. Andrews, for money they say are owed to them for the renovation.

Reports say four of the liens also name Avant-Garde Construction, the general contractor for the reno.

The claims apparently add up to $881,000.

Kent Building Supplies is claiming the largest amount owing at $481 thousand.

Southwest President Gordon Laing giving a statement saying payments were made to sub-contractors in December and January, with another due in February.

The Charlotte County Hospitality Partnership -- who is responsible for the management of the renos -- issuing a statement on the big bill.

The CCHP says they have been working with sub-contractors over the past 6 weeks to reconcile work with each contract adding significant payments were made in December and in January and they expect the accounting to be completed in early February.

It states some contractors have exercised their lien rights as a legal precaution, but work is continuing towards completion in May.

The CCHP says additional payments will be made shortly.

Who Foots The Bill For Flooding?

If water run-off from city-owned property is flooding people's basements, who's responsible for taking care of the problem?

Common Councillor Bill Farren raising that concern about common council after receiving a letter from a citizen who has had to take time of work to deal with flooding and furnace issues.

City Manager Pat Woods has been asked to come back with a report. He says there's been a lack of clarity over who owns the fire lanes and the report should clear that up, and also determine who should clean up any mess.

Three Different Options For The Future Of Recycling In SJ

Saint Johners have three options for the future of recycling in the city: maintain the status quo, eliminate the compost program--which is cheapest-- or do away with recycling depots and have both curbside recycling and composting...which is most expensive at $2.5 million.

Brenda MacCallum of Fundy Region Solid Waste tells CHSJ News we're not currently doing too badly with a 38% waste diversion rate.

Public consultations are being held throughout the city to get feedback, then the solid waste commission will make a decision this summer based on the information collected.

Copper Theft Causes Thousands In Damage

Thieves managed to make off with hundreds of dollars worth of copper--but caused thousands of dollars in damage--to a home on Wellesley Avenue according Sergeant Jay Henderson of the Saint John Police Department. Henderson explains they got the call around noon to a home under construction around noon yesterday. They're canvassing the neighborhood to see if anyone saw anything.

A car also had its tires slashed of Centennial Drive around 9pm.

A 51 year old man was arrested for a domestic assault on Wall Street on the West Side and will appear in court at a later date.

Grand Bay Westfield Maintains Its Tax Rate

The town of Grand Bay-Westfield recently passing their budget with zero change in the tax rate.

Mayor Grace Losier tells CHSJ News the assessment rate increase resulted in $114,000 in new revenue for the town but that was countered with $140,000 in new expenses.

Losier tells us the beauty of being in a small community is that you can take the time to go over the budget line by line.

The tax rate for the town of Grand Bay-Westfield is $1.37 and has been that way since 2007.

Latest Layoffs At Horizon Health Criticised

Liberal Healthcare critic Donald Arsenault believes the Alward Government is shooting itself in the foot with the most recent layoffs at Horizon Health.

There are 8 layoffs in radiology and nuclear technology while four jobs will stay vacant in Saint John, Moncton and Fredericton.

Arsenault doesn't buy the claim by Horizon Health that the quality of patient care will not be compromised, telling CHSJ News these are skilled positions and he fears the province will get a reputation that will make it harder to recruit front line medical professionals down the road.

He also says people are going to work in healthcare unsure about whether they'll have a job the following week and this is damaging morale.

Cellphone Saves Pilot's Life After Crash

The 22 year old trainee pilot whose small plane crashed between Fredericton and Minto is expected to make a full recovery.

 He managed to crawl from the wreckage and used his cellphone to get help. It still took rescuers a couple of hours to find him in dense brush with bitterly cold temperatures but Fredericton's Assistant Deputy Fire Chief David McKinley says using the cellphone to provide GPS co-ordinates saved his life. 

The Transportation Safety Board is investigating to try to determine what sort of problem occurred to force the pilot to make an emergency landing.