H.R.M. District 2 Councillor’s Communique – August 2013 – Issue # 189

CAR SAFETY FOR CHILDREN & PETS

As the summer weather continues to be hot and humid, HRM Partners in Policing remind citizens about the dangers of leaving children and pets alone in unattended vehicles. The body temperature of a child rises faster than an adult, making them more vulnerable to temperature changes. Even with the windows partially down, the temperature inside a parked car can reach over 40 degrees Celsius within minutes. Leaving windows slightly opened does not slow the heating process or decrease the maximum temperature attained. To prevent deadly consequences for your children, never leave them inside an unoccupied vehicle. Remember that young children cannot get out of their car seats alone and are unable to open cars doors and windows.  Here are some tips to prevent heat related injuries or deaths:

  • Never leave a child unattended inside a vehicle, even if the air‐conditioning is on or a window is slightly opened;
  • Never let children play in or around parked cars;
  • Keep vehicles locked, even when parked in your garage;
  • Place your handbag, purse, cell phone, or laptop on the backseat and always check the backseat of your car before walking away from it.

Pets face similar risk on hot days. Animal owners are encouraged to not leave their pets in their vehicles on hot days, even for a few minutes. If you can’t take them with you when you park your vehicle, leave your pets at home. If you see a child or a pet in distress, call 9-1-1 immediately. Be safe in the sun this summer.

 

HELP NOVA SCOTIA’S WILDLIFE

You can help the Hope for Wildlife Society, a charitable organization dedicated to helping injured and orphaned wildlife in Nova Scotia, win a share of $100,000 in Jamieson Laboratories’ “Call for the Wild“.

Vote for Hope for Wildlife every day from August 19th – September 14th at www.facebook.com/jamiesonvitamins  You don’t require a Facebook account to participate and don’t forget to join the fun at Hope for Wildlife’s 12th Annual Open House on Sunday, August 25th 12-4 PM at # 5909 Hwy # 207  in Seaforth.

 

PRESTON AREA WATERSHED STUDY

HRM has engaged the services of AECOM as its consultants to deliver a series of community meetings in the greater Preston area for a local watershed study. The timing of this study is proposed to enable the initiation of surface water and groundwater sampling in August. The initial meeting was held on July 18th with HRM Staff and Steering Committee members, local Councillors, AECOM and community leaders and a general public meeting was open for interested residents. The purpose of these initial meetings was to provide a brief study overview then to obtain input from community leaders and residents on technical aspects of the study, including proposed water quality sampling locations and community engagement considerations and opportunities. There will also be more opportunities for your direct participation.  

For details, contact:
Cameron Deacoff
HRM 
Environmental Performance Officer
Tele: 490-1926 or 476-0363
E-mail at cameron.deacoff@halifax.ca 
Online: www.halifax.ca/planhrm/index.html

EAST LAWRENCETOWN  CELL TOWER

Eastlink has filed documents with Industry Canada as a request to make an intervention regarding their proposed site on the Farrell property off the Crowell Road in East Lawrencetown. HRM filed a negative recommendation to its initial cell tower application. Apparently this site is technically significant as the best strategic spot to provide overall wireless coverage possible for the area. 

 

NEED  VOLUNTEER  FIRE-FIGHTERS

Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency are currently recruiting volunteer firefighters for the various communities in our district area. For more information, please call: Heather McKay, HRM Volunteer Program Manager at 490-5611.

  • Lawrencetown ( Station 19 & 20 )
  • Lake Echo / North Preston ( Station 21 & 22 )
  • Chezzetcook ( Station 23 )
  • Musquodoboit Harbour ( Station 24 )
  • Ostrea Lake ( Station 25 )
  • Oyster Pond ( Station 26 )
  • Sheet Harbour ( Station 28 )
  • Moser River ( Station 29 )
  • Tangier / Mooseland ( Station 30, 31, & 32 )
  • Three Harbours / Port Dufferin ( Station 33 )
  • Mushaboom ( Station 34 )

AT PLAN FOR PORTERS LAKE AREA

The HRM Transportation Planning Department and the Shore Active Transportation Association (SATA) were seeking proposals from qualified consultants for the development of an Active Transportation (AT) Plan for the community of Porters Lake and surrounding areas, including Musquodoboit Harbour, the Chezzetcooks (East, Lower East, West, Head), Grand Desert, Seaforth, Conrod Settlement, and Gaetz Brook.  A request for proposals (RFP) to develop a local AT Plan was issued by HRM’s Traffic Demand Management division this past March and has been awarded to Genivar.  It is anticipated that the process will get underway by early summer.

The Porters Lake area, like many of the rural areas within HRM, faces challenges in terms of AT and its priority relative to other modes of transportation. Infrastructure in the area has been developed to accommodate motor vehicle travel, for the most part without consideration of AT modes. The current lack of AT facilities ( ie: paved shoulders / walkways / trails ) in the area is a concern for residents, as there are limited options for non-motorized travel for trips both internal and external to the community. The SATA has also applied for a $40,000 NS Moves Grant program and has received $5,000 in support as part of its grant application from Seven Lakes Developments and HRM District 2 Capital Fund – $2,500 from each contributor.

OPEN  DATA :   APPS  FOR  HALIFAX

HRM is seeking interested sponsors for its open data application contest, apps4halifax. The contest, which will run until January 2014, was created to encourage public engagement and inspire the development of innovative, interesting, and user-friendly applications for NS citizens using HRM open data. Sponsorship opportunities include both cash and in-kind under the following categories: Title sponsor, Category sponsor, and  In-kind/Partner sponsor. The money raised through these sponsorships will contribute to the monetary prizes that will be awarded for the selected top applications. To view the full Request for Proposals (RFP) visit www.gov.ns.ca/tenders/tenders/ns-tenders.aspx, Tender ID #E13-073, for complete details on available sponsorship opportunities. To further enhance the visibility of HRM’s open data to the general public, this competition and its winners will be promoted and announced via a major local media channel. The contest will be open to all residents of Nova Scotia, 19 years of age or older. Stay tuned to data.halifax.ca for more contest details. HRM’s Open Data Pilot Project launched on-line earlier this year at data.halifax.ca enables public viewing and use of a selection of HRM datasets free of charge for a 12 month period. The goal of this project is to make municipal government more transparent and accessible to all citizens.

      

HRM BEACHES WATER SAFETY INFO

HRM has many supervised beaches, lakes, and outdoor pools, with trained lifeguards during the summer. All supervised locations include daily maintenance and weekly water testing. For the latest updates, call the HRM Beaches Hot-line: 490-5458 or at www.halifax.ca/rec/beaches.html 

 

HRM TO TAKE-OVER STREETLIGHTS

The NS Dept. of Energy regulations respecting the conversion of the older high intensity sodium and mercury filament streetlight fixtures over to the new LED technology requires all municipalities to confirm their intentions to take ownership of any non-high mast roadway lights owned by NS Power by June 30th, 2013. There are about 40,500 streetlights throughout our municipality. HRM pays NS Power approximately $1 Million annually to lease streetlights from them and pays another $1.4 Million as an annual maintenance charge. NS Power owns and maintains approximately 28,500 streetlights in HRM and HRM maintains approximately 12,000 streetlights of its own. HRM plans to take-over the ownership of the NS Power asset inventory estimated at $5.1 Million, plus $2.8 Million for the newer LED streetlights that have been already installed to date. An additional $32 Million will be required to convert the remaining out-dated streetlights to the new LED models over a 5 year period. All of this will be funded by the proposed HRM LED Street Light Conversion Reserve (Q327). This will be funded by debt financing outside the HRM Debt Policy. That is, the debt will be repaid from realized operational savings instead of the general tax rate. As street lights are converted to LED technology, the annual operational maintenance cost is anticipated to decline each year thereafter by 50% to 90% over the projected current stated cost, for a potential savings of $1 to $5 Million annually.

 

METRO   TRANSIT   CONSULTATIONS

Metro Transit will be embarking upon a community consultation process with the intent to garner public opinion and insight on how HRM should roll out its latest transit strategy ‘‘Moving Forward Together‘‘ for the next 5 years. During late summer and early autumn (August & September) there will some stakeholders sessions, public consultation and on-line consultations and surveys.Please stay tuned for more details as they unfold at: www.halifax.ca/metrotransit/ or take a survey at www.halifax.ca/surveys/ or contact Metro Transit directly at   movingforward@halifax.ca .

 

HRM TAX EXEMPTION & DEFERRALS 

HRM Residential Property Tax Exemption,  Deferral of Property Taxes and Deferral of Local Improvement Charges (LIC’s) Program for the current fiscal year 2013-2014 is now open.Application forms and guides were mailed out to last year‘s applicants by June 20th. These programs are available to all homeowners with a combined household income of $31,000 or less a year. Applications received from homeowners with outstanding debt to HRM such as overdue fees, fines, or payment arrears, will have the rebate applied against any debt prior to a cheque being issued, as per HRM’s Collection Policy. Applications returned before August 15th will have the rebate credited to the final tax bill. Please note if your taxes are paid by your mortgage company or you pay your taxes through pre-authorized payment (a scheduled payment to HRM from your bank account), a refund will be issued to you after the tax bill due date of October 31st. Information on how to complete your application form can be found in the Program Brochure and on the HRM Website at www.halifax.ca  go to QuickLinks for the Grants Program. If you need further help completing the application please contact 490-5454 or call 311 HRM Customer Service Centre.

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