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Friday, November 30, 2012

The City's Core Services Are Graded

The results of a core services review being rolled out to Common Council as part of the 2013 budget process.

The Mayor and councillors are learning the fire department has a high level of staffing but response times are below the industry standard. 

One possible explanation is that the city's land area is so large. Council has been told it might be a good idea not to respond to medical calls in the rural outskirts of the city.

Council has also been told City Police have a high level of staffing as compared to other cities because of employing fewer civilian employees. Todd MacDonald of Performance Concepts Consulting credits intelligence led policing for reducing the severity of crime in the city and having a good record in clearing cases.

He also describes Saint John Transit as operating more efficiently than bus service in other cities, at a lower cost and with a higher ridership but that could be adversely affected by a rate hike.

Carrie Underwood Concert Sells Out

Carrie Underwood tickets must be a very popular Christmas gift is greater Saint John.

The show sold out in less than two hours this morning.

The American Idol winner will thrill local fans when her show hits Harbour Station on April 2nd.

It's her second appearance in the City.

Rothesay & Quispam Prepare To Find Savings

Two towns near Saint John will do without a substantial amount of money in 2013 due to changes in provincial grant allocation.

Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop tells CHSJ News a loss of $99 thousand and a lower than expected assessment rate will mean tightening in their upcoming budget. 

He says this reduction may mean they have to re-evaluate certain projects including roadwork.

Quispamsis gets a substantial cut of over $240 thousand dollars and Mayor Murray Driscoll says it's new info so they will have to look at it carefully.

He says most of their funding comes from taxation so they will now have to examine what goes into the budget.

Driscoll says his town's budget will be ready for a vote in December while Bishop says Rothesay is finalizing their budget and it will come up at their next meeting on the 10th.

Local Teacher Recieves Prime Minister's Award For Excellence

One of Saint John's most tireless teachers is getting a nod from the top level of government.

Janet Towers of the Saint John Y Early Learning Center received the Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education. Towers tells CHSJ News the integrated program is great for the kids, because younger students get to team up with slightly older ones for classes like music and gym.

Towers says they're working toward implementing similar programs in Waterloo Village, Glen Falls, and Hazen White Saint Francis.

Romero House Food Drive Continues at Ritchie's

The 6th annual Romero House food drive at Ritchie's continue today on Rothesay Avenue. 

Non-perishable food donations are being accepted until 8pm tonight, and 8am to 8pm Saturday and Sunday.

The food drive continues until December 8th.

New Road To Handle Oversized Loads For Port

It's going to be easier for trucks with oversized loads to get to port property on the west side -- Provincial Transportation Minister Claude Williams says a new access road is being built in the area where the Harbour Bridge toll booths once stood.
Williams says it's a cooperative effort with the Port Authority that will help to promote trade and economic development opportunities for the port and province as a whole.
Total cost of the project is approximately $240,000 and the province  is sharing the cost on a 50/50 basis with the Port Authority.
Work is underway and is scheduled for completion by the end of December -- it involves relocation of some lighting - medians - and - storm sewers.

Example of oversized load at port

Two Vehicle Collision Sends One To Hospital

One person was taken to hospital after a two vehicle collision around 7:30 this morning along Douglas Avenue. 

One lane was blocked for a while as peat moss had to be put down on the road because of a fuel leak.