Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bridgewater Mayor Expects Tough Budget Process

The mayor of Bridgewater expects the budget process will be difficult for the upcoming year. Preliminary figures indicate the town has a $1-million shortfall. Councillors debated a number of issues Monday night, including paying for the outdoor pool for at least one more year and giving pre-budget approval for an electronic fingerprint device for town police. Mayor David Walker says times are tough and he doesn't want to raise the residential tax rate.

Walker feels some key programs or services may be cut during talks. The town has a goal of approving their 2014-15 budget by April 24th.

Baillie Looking For Answers For Bluenose II Cost Overruns

The Nova Scotia Legislature begins its spring session on Thursday. Jobs and the economy are likely to take centre stage in the House but the McNeil government will probably have to deal right away with a pending strike by nurses in the Halifax area. Many are wondering if they'll be legislated back to work like home care workers were in February. Meanwhile, Progressive Conservative Opposition Leader Jamie Baillie will be seeking answers on why the rebuild of Bluenose Two has cost so much and the vessel is still not back in service. He says the government is being too secretive about it.

A throne speech is expected to begin the sitting on Thursday afternoon.

Storm Watch: Power Outages Reported Shelburne & Queens Co

Nova Scotia power crews are working to get the heat back on for about 1,700 customers in Shelburne, Queens and Lunenburg Counties. Roughly 1,300 people are without power in the Shelburne area. Meanwhile, 400 residents in Queens County are dealing with outages. NSP expects the power to be restored in these areas between 5:00-9:00pm. In addition, EMO in Shelburne County says Lockeport Fire Hall will serve as a comfort centre for residents. Another comfort centre in Port Clyde has also been established - if you need a ride contact that fire hall. 

According to NSP, here is a list of South Shore areas affected by power outages: NSP outage map link

Bridgewater Street Crews Ready For Snow Clearing

An important part of dealing with a storm like the one today is keeping the streets and highways open, especially for emergency vehicles. Acting Bridgewater Town works director Larry Feener says its important drivers don't park their vehicles on the streets and police work to prevent tie-ups during  snow clearing.

Feener says his crews have been on standby all night and going into action throughout the storm.

Nova Scotia Power Ready For Any South Shore Power Outages

As we hunker down for today's storm, an official at Nova Scotia Power says having the ability to get around in a large storm to deal with outages is challenging. However, Neera Ritcey of NSP says crews are ready to go if the power goes out today or tonight.

Ritcey says about two dozen repair crews are on standby today along the South Shore and throuh the Valley. She also says contracted repairmen can be called up in pretty short order to help if there's a need.

Snow/Wind Storm Moving In

That forecasted nor-easter is still on the books for today! Most places along the South Shore from Yarmouth to Halifax, through the Valley and beyond are starting to feel the effects of it as the morning rolls along. Meteorologist Andy Firth at Environment Canada says its going to be a rugged day.

The wind overnight tonight with an additional 5 or 10 centimeters may peak as high as 120 in some places along the coast. When its all over, some 50 cm