Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Lunenburg: Board Of Trade, Composites Atlantic Receive Funding

Old Town Lunenburg is getting a spruce up. The Minister of ACOA along with the MP for South Shore - St. Margaret's announced over $79,000 in funding to the town's Board of Trade. The group will purchase items to enhance Old Town including a visitor information kiosk, park benches, bike racks and drinking fountains. The money will also go towards interpretive and directional signage to highlight Old Town attractions, augmented street lighting, waste and recycling stations and electrical outlets for special events. President Mike Smith says he hopes to have it all available for use by the summer.

Smith says the new features will add to Lunenburg's status as one of the top tourism destinations in the province. Earlier in the day, the minister also announced $18,750 to Composites Atlantic. The money will help the company engage a specialist to evaluate its management and Enterprise Resource Planning systems.

Bridgewater: Pothole Problem On North Street

A town councillor in Bridgewater is concerned with the amount of potholes on North Street. Andrew Tanner says the issue pops up every winter, but feels the road is a little worse for wear and is hoping something can be done about it. He says North Street is in bad shape.

Acting Town Engineer Larry Feener says workers are trying to fix the problem, but cold and wet weather conditions make it difficult to patch up the potholes. He says they've neglected North Street in recent years because of a potential upgrade. The street along with Aberdeen Road are listed as a capital project.

Bridgewater, MODL Support 2016 Telus Cup Bid

A pair of local governments are standing behind a bid to host the 2016 Telus Cup. The Municipality of Lunenburg and town of Bridgewater are preparing to give letters of support to the host committee. The committee is getting ready to send their proposal to host the national boys midget hockey championship to Hockey Nova Scotia. If it gets the thumbs up, the proposal will be forwarded to Hockey Canada for final approval. The Charlie's Pizza South Shore Mustangs are hoping to host and play in the Telus Cup for the first time.

Shelburne: Water Rate Hearing Set To Begin

Water rates in the Town of Shelburne will be the main agenda item during a regulatory hearing set to begin Wednesday. The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board will host a hearing to discuss proposed new rates for residents hooked into the town's water system. The town has applied for an increase because their utility is facing a $200,000 shortfall. If approved, water bills in the average household could jump by as much as 70 percent. That could mean an extra $500 on annual bills. The town's utility is in the red due to declining consumption and cost overruns related to a major line extension project. The hearing will begin at 11 o'clock the Community Centre in Shelburne.

Property Assessments Mailed Out

Most residential and commercial property owners will see increases in their assessments this year. More than 600,000 assessments were mailed out yesterday. The value of all commercial and residential properties grew by $4 billion compared to $5.5 billion last year. Provincial assessment rolls now sit at $99 billion. Canadian Tax Payers Federation Atlantic Director Kevin Lacey says while assessments are up, there is still a silver lining in all of it for our area.

Which means about $20. to $30. more on average South Shore homeowners tax bills this year. There will likely be little change in commercial rates in the area. In Nova Scotia, 54 municipalities use the provincial assessment figures to set their tax rates later in the year.

Health Minister: Vaccine Supply In Good Shape

The province claims there's no shortage of flu vaccine and its still urging everyone to get immunized. Health Minister Leo Glavine tells us there's plenty of vaccine to go around but it has been challenging to keep up with such a huge public response, especially at pharmacies. He says there's a perceived shortage but its simply a matter of moving the vaccine stock around and getting more in.

The minister says the benefits of getting the flu vaccine diminish as the peak of the flu season nears in February. Glavine says the province brought in enough flu vaccine to cover 47 per cent of the population, which he says is more per capita than any other province in Canada and the response rate has been higher than anywhere else in the country.

School Review: Community Leaders Call For Change

Some prominent figures in Lunenburg County are calling for an overhaul of the school review process. A series of consultation meetings are underway across the province. The school review process determines the future of rural schools dealing with declining enrolment. Roughly 50 people attended a meeting last night at Park View Education Centre. Lunenburg Mayor Rachel Bailey says the process needs to put more emphasis on what's best for students.

Meanwhile, Municipality of Lunenburg Mayor Don Downe says old schools, many beyond repair, are creating a financial burden on taxpayers after they are closed. He'd like to see municipalities at the decision making table. A series of recommendations to reshape the process will be given to the education minister by the end of next month.

Downpour Expected

Get set! There is a major storm heading our way! This time though it will bring rain and a brisk wind. The rain will begin slowly as the day rolls along and turn into a heavy downpour over night. Environment Canada says we could get at least 25 mm of rain along the South Shore. That could mean possible flooding in some areas. The rain will taper off to showers Wednesday morning. We'll have rain on and off through most of the week.