Friday, July 10, 2009

Pleasantville Fire

A family of five is staying with relatives after fire destroyed their home Thursday evening in Pleasantville, a few kilometres east of Bridgewater. A couple and three children - including a boy marking his 9th birthday - escaped unharmed, but lost their belongings. Red Cross volunteers who met with the family say relatives have provided them with a temporary place to stay. Family, friends and neighbours also organized a birthday party for the youngster within hours of the blaze. The cause of the fire, at 19 Church Road in Pleasantville, is under investigation. It's believed the home was insured. (Images from Littlemac Custom Computers & Electronics

Queens Place Shortage

The Queens Place project is somewhat in limbo until Region of Queens Municipal Council makes some critical decisions. There's a considerable shortfall of funds for the estimated cost of the project now pegged at $25.2 million dollars. Remaining funds need to come from other sources. The federal government has confirmed that Queens Place will not be eligible for further federal support and the past provincial government declined the Region's request for a top up that would have brought their commitment closer to the one third precedent they have set with other similar facilities in the province. Commitments include $7 million from the federal government, $5 million from the province and a fundraising goal of $2 million. Council will have to make a decision on the direction of the project and its affordability. Possible options include scaling back or phasing the facility in components.

Chester Taxes

Tax rates are going up slightly in the Municipality of Chester. Warden Allan Webber says regrettably the trend of lowering the tax rate over the past four years could not be continued. Residential rates increase by 1.67 percent to 61 cents per 100 dollars of assessment. Commercial rates rise by 2.72 percent, to $1.51 up from $1.47. Council approved a 19.5 million dollar budget yesterday. Warden Webber says a number of factors came into play including the current global economic situation. One casualty of this budget is the proposed indoor swimming pool complex which has been cancelled. Webber says the project did not receive broad based public support for an expenditure of this magnitude.