Wednesday, January 16, 2013

South Shore: Tricky Driving Conditions Reported

Motorists throughout the South Shore are reporting difficult driving conditions. Comments on our Facebook page indicate slushy and slippery conditions are the norm in Chester, Milton, Lockeport and Newburne - among other areas. The forecast calls for up to four centimetres of snow this afternoon with another five to ten centimetres expected tonight. Residents could also see some ice pellets and rain in Shelburne, Queens and Lunenburg counties.

MODL: Resident Decision Needed Before Paving Starts

The Municipality of Lunenburg has agreed to pay 40 per cent of the cost of paving two roads in Pine Grove. Council members agreed to spend an estimated $130,000 to pave Harold Whynot Road and Craig Chandler Drive. However, the onus is squarely on the residents of those streets, who have to agree to cover the rest of the bill. Mayor Don Downe says 75 per cent of residents will have to approve the decision in a petition.

There are 26 properties between the two streets, meaning 20 households would have to agree or paving wouldn't happen. The estimated cost to residents is $8,600. Downe says there are avenues people can choose to pay either by paying up front or financing with the municipality at 10 per cent administration charge.

Bridgewater: Stomach Virus Closes Group Homes

A stomach virus has restricted visitation at two group homes in Bridgewater. Hillside Pines and Shannex-Ryan Hall are temporarily off-limits due to a gastrointestinal flu. Both homes will be off-limits to family and visitors until further notice.  Officials will reevaluate the situation in a few days.

Bridgewater Building Permits On The Rise

Construction activity in the town of Bridgewater has gone up. The town saw an increase in building permits in 2012, from 159 in 2011 to 168 last year. Most of the activity was either residential or commercial. Mayor David Walker says it's nice to see a gain.

The total value of building permits from last year is estimated to be just over $10.8-million. Walker says its a good year but not spectacular.

Valley: Michelin Announcement Set For Thursday

The North American president of Michelin is expected to make an announcement tomorrow regarding the company's tire plant in the Annapolis Valley. Michelin Canada issued a brief statement today saying the announcement relates to an investment at the Waterville plant. Premier Darrell Dexter is expected to be on hand when Dana LeBlanc makes the announcement near the plant. The tire manufacturer has been looking at expanding its operations in the Annapolis Valley community. Last May, Dexter announced funding for a study that would look at relocating the Waterville Municipal Airport to allow for expansion at Michelin.

Preliminary Hearing for Leblanc Set For April 29th

A single day has been set aside for a preliminary inquiry involving a man accused of sexually assaulting and confining a teenage boy. David James Leblanc is facing seven charges in relation to an incident last year in Upper Chelsea where a 16 year-old boy claims he was held captive and sexually abused for about a week. The 47 year-old made a brief court appearance Wednesday in Bridgewater to set a date for the preliminary inquiry. Defence lawyer Mike Taylor told reporters the case could be complicated by the fact former co-accused Wayne Cunningham is dead. However, he says a one-day hearing will be enough to deal with the matter. Taylor has elected his client be tried in Supreme Court. The case will pick back up on April 29th.

Lumberjacks Seek Illusive Win

It was a spirited Maritime Hockey League game last night in Bridgewater as the Pictou County Weeks Crushers edged the CIBC Wood Gundy Lumberjacks 4-3. The Crushers built a 4-0 lead after the first period and then held on. Jeremy Butterworth, Michael Crawley, and Shawn Boudreau scored for the Jacks. Goalie Jacob Edwards was very solid in his Jacks' debut making 43 saves. Bridgewater's next game is this Friday night when they host Luke Warner and the Summerside Western Capitals.

Watchdog Group Seeks Less Municipal Control of Tax Rates & Property Assessments

If you are a property owner, you will notice your assessment is up again this year! After a 3.5 percent hike last year, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says its little consolation in knowing its almost 2 percentage points lower than the bill in 2012 when you consider all you're paying out. CTF Atlantic director Kevin Lacey tells us, we are being taxed to death and paying more for everything. He says: "Keep in mind we are already paying more in provincial taxes this year and also many user fees. So, we are getting hit on many different sides. We're only 2 weeks into 2013, and we are paying more in property taxes and provincial taxes and other fees." The CTF is calling upon South Shore municipalities and those elsewhere to reduce  tax rates to ease the burden on residential and business taxpayers and also drop their control of both tax rates and assessments.