HRM COMMUNITY GRANT PROGRAM
HRM is now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 Community Grants Program. The deadline for applying is March 31st, 2014.  Application forms and program guidebooks are available on-line at www.halifax.ca/grants, by calling 311 or from one of HRM’s Citizen Contact Centres.  The HRM Community Grants Program is a centralized program that provides annual cash grants to registered non-profit organizations and charities located throughout HRM. There are two types of grants: (1) a project grant of up to $5,000 and (2) a capital grant of up to $25,000. Grants are one-time and project-specific within the following funding sectors:  Environment; Recreation & Leisure; Affordable & Supportive Housing; Emergency Assistance; Neighborhood Safety; Community History; Community Diversity; and Arts & Crafts. For details see:

www.halifax.ca/boardscom/bccgrants/CommunityGrantsProgram.html

NS ACCESS – ABILITY GRANTS
The NS Provincial Government is committed to equal opportunity and improving handicap access to community facilities. Under this program, funds are available for cost shared projects to non-profit community organizations for accessibility related capital improvements. They will make grants of up to two-thirds of the direct and indirect costs of renovations, installations, and/or equipment, with the sponsoring organization being responsible for raising at least one-third of their improvement project’s funding from other sources. The maximum grant available for individual projects is $10,000.  Projects will be reviewed and awarded as funding permits. Application deadline is April 1st. For more information, please contact Georgina Dimock – Program Administrator, at 424-5965 or by e-mail: dimockgm@gov.ns.ca  or by post :  Service NS & Municipal Relations – P.O. Box 216, Halifax, NS, B3J 2M4 or go to: www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/muns/infr/access/access.asp

HRM  PROPERTY TAX PROGRAMS
HRM has a variety of programs to aid homeowners with their property tax obligations. There are various options for payment plans, property tax rebates, or deferral of property taxes (payment is put off to a later date). A homeowner with a LIC – local improvement charge can also apply for a deferral of these charges. It is important that you know what choices exist. Please refer to this guide:  www.halifax.ca/revenue/exemption/documents/Newsletter2013-14_SrnRes.pdf . Some of these programs are available to homeowners with a combined household income of $30,000 or less a year.  Information on all of these programs and how to make a yearly application is available at: www.halifax.ca/revenue/exemption/index.html . Deadline for applications is March 31st.

APPSALUTE AWARDS 2014 WINNERS
HRM and IBM announced over $44,000 in cash prizes to the contest winners of Apps4Halifax developers and the Open Data Pilot project was celebrated as a success. The Apps4Halifax contest was created to encourage public engagement and inspire the development of user-friendly applications for NS citizens using HRM open data. The Open Data Pilot, launched earlier in the 2013 year at www.data.halifax.ca , enables public viewing and use of a selection of HRM data-sets free-of-charge over a twelve month period. During the first phase of the contest: “The Idea” submission period, 276 ideas were submitted. After the voting on these ideas, 38 beneficial apps were chosen as the best for the public to use in their daily lives. Download a winning app today and join in on congratulating the talented developers who are using technology to bring Halifax-focused information and solutions to our finger-tips! Everyone’s a winner in the Apps4Halifax contest!  For more information about the contest winners, visit www.Apps4Halifax.ca  .

ORDER OF NOVA SCOTIA NOMINEES
The nomination deadline for the Order of Nova Scotia (ONS) is on the third Friday of March (March 21st 2014) The ONS recognizes Nova Scotians for outstanding contributions to their communities. NS citizens are encouraged to nominate or re-nominate someone they feel has made a significant contribution. Nomination forms are available at Access Nova Scotia Centres throughout the province. For more information call the NS Protocol Office – One Government Place, Barrington Level, 1700 Granville Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 1X5. Telephone: 424-2467 Fax: 424-4309 E-mail:orderofnovascotia@gov.ns.ca or check the ONS Website: http://gov.ns.ca/iga/order.asp .

NS COMMUNITY SPIRIT AWARD
The Lieutenant Governor’s Community Spirit Award celebrates the power, strength and diversity of vibrant communities across Nova Scotia. It profiles their achievements and increases their visibility through a formal recognition program. Up to four Nova Scotian communities are honoured each year. Recipients are chosen by a selection committee based on community applications that best fit the award’s criteria. Communities selected for the award promote citizen engagement, civic pride and a positive outlook on the future. Should your community be selected for the Lieutenant Governor’s Community Spirit Award, it will be honoured through celebration and recognition. The Lieutenant Governor will attend a community celebration, presenting an award hand-crafted in Nova Scotia that stays in the community and unveiling a sign for display. There will be province-wide public recognition through media. Join in on celebrating the strengths of your community by submitting a nomination! Contact Lorna Kennedy by phone: 424-5793 or by e-mail: kennedlj@gov.ns.ca . For more information on this program, go to: http://novascotia.ca/cch/investing/community-funding/spirit-award/ . All completed application forms and submissions must either be e-mailed to: communityspiritaward@gov.ns.ca or faxed to 424-0710 or mailed to NS Communities, Culture & Heritage, Attn: Community Spirit Award, P.O. Box 456, Halifax, NS B3J 2R5 and received by midnight of the closing day March 31st.

STREETS PROPOSED FOR PAVING
I have asked HRM to propose submitting a list of “J” Class Subdivision Streets in District 2 that could be considered for potential 50-50 Cost-Share Paving with the Province’s Aid to Municipality Program. In total, there are 11 streets with just under 4 kms (3.986) in total length. The proposed streets are: Autumn Drive, Chris Cait Drive, Mill Pond Court, Myers Drive, Slade Crescent, Willow Street and Willowdale Drive in Musquodoboit Harbour; Westside Inlet Road in West Petpeswick; Birchwood Lane in Ostrea Lake; Doyle Road in West Jeddore; and Una Drive in Lake Charlotte. I will have held a public information meeting with the affected property owners on these roadways in order to advise them of the process and options for participating in this paving program. Now we must await the outcome of the Provincial Budget to see if funding this program is continued or not.

STORMWATER MANAGEMENT DITCH TAX
Due to a NSUARB decision imposed upon HRM, there will be a new storm-water management levy to help pay for the costs of dealing with rain run-off drainage. A new “Ditch Tax” at a rate of $39 per property within the municipal water service district where the Halifax Water Commission maintains the ditches. In our District 2 area, this will apply to North Preston and the Little Salmon River area in Westphal.