Peace On Earth & Goodwill to All

DALTRAC TRAVEL ACTIVITY SURVEY

Residents are invited to participate in the Nova Scotia Travel Activity (NovaTRAC) 2016 survey, a research project conducted by DalTRAC, in partnership with the Province and HRM. The survey is the first of its kind in Nova Scotia and will collect information about household and household members’ daily travel activities (when, where, how and why people travel), which will give a better picture of travel patterns and future transportation needs. Participation in the survey is voluntary, and information will be kept strictly confidential. The survey can be completed at www.daltraclab.com by using access code nova2016. The survey will be available until Dec.16th. Upon completion of the survey, participants can enter to win one $200 VISA gift card or one of ten $25 VISA gift cards. To learn more about the NovaTRAC Survey visit: www.dal.ca/sites/daltrac/novatrac-info.html and be sure to view their video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZdJB4IWIyU&feature=youtu.be

ICE & SNOW WINTER MAINTENANCE

The NS Dept. of Transportation & Infrastructure Renewal (NSDOTIR) does most of the snow removal, ice control and winter road maintenance services in District 2. Our local NS Highway Depots are in West Chezzetcook at 902-827-2544 and in Spry Bay at 902-885-2821.

If you want to e-mail any roadway concerns to the attention of the NSDOTIR Operations Contact Centre, please send it to: TIR-OCC@novascotia.ca. The TIR-OCC will log it, assign a service ticket number and send it to the appropriate supervisor.

The Province also has an online “plow tracker” tool that allows citizens to track snow plows by zooming in on a map: http://novascotia.ca/tran/winter/plowtracker.asp.

You can view current highway conditions online at: http://novascotia.ca/tran/cameras/.

Drivers can also get up-to-date road conditions across Nova Scotia by calling the SNOW-line: 1-800-307-SNOW (7669) or 511 or 1-888-432-3233 or 902-424-3933 or online: http://novascotia.ca/tran/winter and click on the Road & Weather Report Icon Button.

The SNOW-line is updated regularly at 7 AM, 1 PM and 5 PM or more frequently in case of a major storm event.

If you should have any concerns or complaints about snow removal service in your area that is served by NSDOTIR, please contact your respective MLA offices: Kevin Murphy (murphyke@gov.ns.ca), 902-281-3005 Lloyd Hines (hineslp@gov.ns.ca), 1-902-533-2280. Keith Colwell (colwelkw@gov.ns.ca), 902-433-1494.

Streets in the communities of North Preston and Westphal and all of the Lawrencetown subdivision streets are under the jurisdiction of HRM with a performance based contract service provider. If you have any concerns about our snow and ice control winter road maintenance, please call the HRM Citizen Contact Centre at 311. For information about HRM Winter Road Maintenance go to: www.halifax.ca/MunicipalOps/Winter/index.php. Be sure to have proper tires and an emergency suppy kit on hand in your vehicle, and please drive carefully this winter season.

INPUT ON INTEGRATED MOBILITY PLAN

The HRM Integrated Mobility Plan (IMP) will create a regional vision for mobility and help to direct future investment in transportation demand management, transit, active transportation, and the roadway network. The plan will strive to identify the two-way relationship between land development patterns and investment in mobility and personal access, with the objective of better linking people and their communities.

The IMP stems from municipal policy direction on public transit and transportation, land use and growth centres contained within the HRM Regional Plan. The goal is to implement a sustainable transportation strategy by providing a choice of integrated and connected travel options. These options would emphasize public and community based transit, active transportation, carpooling and other viable alternatives to the single occupant vehicle and promote land settlement patterns and urban design approaches that support fiscally and environmentally sustainable transportation modes. The plan will help forecast the municipality’s need for mobility and provide service and infrastructure to meet this demand, while promoting transportation sustainability.

More details about IMP can be found in the Council report: www.halifax.ca/council/agendasc/documents/160719ca1454.pdf for website: http://www.halifax.ca/integratedmobility/and shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/integratedmobility.

You can provide your input on the IMP by e-mailing: planhrm@halifax.ca, or complete a survey at: http://www.halifax.ca/shapeyourcity/index.php, or write to HRM Integrated Mobility Plan c/o Rod McPhail, PO Box 1749, Halifax, NS B3J 3A5

HRM & NS PROPERTY TAX PROGRAMS

HRM has a program to aid homeowners with their property tax obligations. There are various options which include payment plans, property tax rebates, or deferral of property taxes. A homeowner with a LIC (Local Improvement Charge) can also apply for a deferral of these charges.

Please refer to this guide: www.halifax.ca/taxes/exemption/documents/2016taxexemptionnewsletter-fillable.pdf. Some of these programs are available to homeowners with a combined household income of $33,000 or less a year. Deadline to apply is Dec 31st. The application to this HRM program is at: www.halifax.ca/taxes/exemption/documents/2016-taxexemptionapplication-fillable.pdf.

Seniors should also be aware of the NS Provincial Property Tax Rebate for Seniors Program. This program is for seniors who have been receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement in January of the application year. Criteria requires you to have paid your property taxes from the prior year in full. A receipt from HRM showing property taxes are paid in full is required. Applicants to this program can receive a rebate on half of their taxes paid to a maximum of $800. Applications are available from Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations by calling (902) 424-5200 or 211 or 1-800-670-4357. More information is available online: http://novascotia.ca/sns/pdf/consumer-rebate-property-tax-rebate-for-seniors-2016.pdf. Application deadline is also Dec. 31st.

WINTER OPEN AIR BURNING RULES

Off-season open air burning rules are now in effect. For municipal burning purposes, Oct. 16th to March 14th is considered the off-season whereby outdoor wood burning (brush fires, campfires, bonfires) is permitted from 8 AM until midnight.

The Community of North Preston is in “The Urban Permit Required Zone” because it is served with both central water and sewer services. These residents must have 23 metres clearance (75 feet) from any building to the fire. If there is insufficient separation, then outdoor burning is banned year round.

The rest of our district is in the “Rural No Permit Zone.” Fires are allowed throughout the year and must be a minimum of 4.75 metres (15 feet) from any dwelling or accessory building. Please note that Campfires cannot be larger than .5 metres (1.6 feet) in diameter.

Check out our website for more details about outdoor open air burning during the off-season: www.halifax.ca/fireprevention/burning.php

RURAL INTERNET PROVINCIAL FUND
The Province has announced a new program to access funding for Municipal & Community Rural High Speed Internet. This one-time program will provide up to $500,000 (maximum of $75,000 per project) to improve or expand existing internet services in Nova Scotian communities in the coming months. Applications will be accepted until Dec. 31st and will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis.
Program guidelines and application forms are available at: http://novascotia.ca/business/internet/
For more details please contact Brie Rehbein at 902-424-2232 or Brie.Rehbein@novascotia.ca
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PEACE ON EARTH & GOODWILL TO ALL

My wife Susan and I want to wish everyone the very best of this Holiday Season. During this joyful time of year there are many types of spiritual and cultural celebrations: Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noel, Season’s Greetings, Happy Hanukkah, Al Hijra, and Kwanza. The message for Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All is universal.
Have yourself a blessed time with your families, friends and neighbours. May we all strive for peace, tranquillity and harmony in our daily lives. Remember those who may be less fortunate or are experiencing hardship and despair. Please consider a gift to your local food bank, or give the gift of life and donate blood. May all of us be blessed with good health and happiness throughout the New Year.