ICE & SNOW WINTER MAINTENANCE

The Nova Scotia Department of Transportation & Infrastructure Renewal (NSTIR) does most of the snow removal, ice control and winter road maintenance services in District 2. Our local Nova Scotia Highway Depots are in West Chezzetcook and Spry Bay. You can e-mail any roadway concerns to the attention of the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation & Infrastructure Renewal Operations Contact Centre, please send it to: TIR-OCC@novascotia.ca or call 1-844-696-7737. The TIR-OCC will log it, assign a service ticket number and send it to the appropriate supervisor. The Province also has an on-line “plowtracker” tool that allows citizens to track snowploughs on a provincial zoom-in map: http://novascotia.ca/tran/winter/plowtracker.asp .  Or you can see current highway conditions by going on-line to their roadside camera website: https://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 just go on-line at: 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. Or you can follow them on Twitter @NS_TIR . If you should have any concerns or complaints about snow removal service in your area that is served by Nova Scotia Department of Transportation & Infrastructure Renewal, then please contact your respective MLAs offices: Lloyd Hines (hineslp@ gov.ns.ca) at 1-902-533-2280, or Kevin Murphy (murphyke@ gov.ns.ca) at 902-281-3005 or Keith Colwell (colwelkw@gov. ns.ca ) at 902-433-1494 .

With respect to the communities of North Preston, Westphal, and most of the Lawrencetown subdivision streets, these areas are done under the auspices of HRM with a Performance Base Contracted Out 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 or me. For information about HRM Winter Road Maintenance, please go to: www.halifax.ca/transportation/winter-operations
So be sure to have proper tires and emergency supplies kit on hand in your vehicle. Please drive carefully this winter season.

PROPERTY ASSESSMENT APPEALS

Property Assessment Notices will be mailed out in mailed out on January 11th. Then there is a 31-day official Appeal Period until February 11th whereby property owners can review and perhaps refute their appraisals. You can now access your property file on-line. Your notice will provide you with an AAN – Assessment Account Number with a PIN to view your data. If you feel it is not assessed properly, then you should contact the Nova Scotia Municipality Agency – Property Valuation Services Corporation (PVSC) and speak with an assessment representative. Property Valuation Assessment Office is located at Park Place Two, 238-A Brownlow Avenue, Suite 200, Dartmouth, NS, B3B 2B4. Toll-free Phone: 1-800- 380-7775 or Fax:1-888-339-4555. Property owners are encouraged to call and talk to an assessor, prior to appealing an assessment. Perhaps this approach may provide and clearup some questions that you may have, hopefully avoiding the time and expense of an appeal. If not, you have the right to make a formal appeal, (in writing) either by letter or fax which must be received by their office on, or before the deadline date. For more information, you can refer to your notice or go to Property Valuation Services Corporation Appeal Guide: www.pvsc.ca/site/media/PVSC/Documents/Appeal%20Brochure%20December%202012_final.pdf   . If you should have any further enquiries about property valuation, please refer to their web-site at: www.PVSC.ca for more details.

COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS FUND

Halifax Regional Municipality has a program that supports organizations to deliver small civic events that are a maximum of five (5) days in length, are organized primarily for the benefit and enjoyment of local residents, coincide with a community gathering or civic holiday, and are free to the public to attend. The maximum grant award through this program is $1,000. Applications are accepted annually. Deadline to apply is 12 Noon on Friday, January 29th. Application forms can either be mailed to you or you can download them on-line at: www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/recreation/arts-culture-heritage/2020%20Regional%20Events%20-%20Community%20Celebrations%20.pdf For further details, contact HRM Culture & Events: Christine Buckley:  bucklec@halifax.ca 902-490-6979 or fax 902-490-5950.

FEDERAL ARTS & CULTURE GRANTS

The Federal Department of Canadian Heritage (DCH) has a Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage (BCAH) Program. Does your community organize a local festival? There are three intake period deadlines for applications under the local festivals component of the BCAH program: January 31st, April 30th and September 30th. Is there a significant local anniversary in our municipality or in your community in 2021? If the anniversary marks a 100th anniversary or greater, in increments of 25 years (e.g., 125th, 150th) and it commemorates a significant local historical event or pays tribute to a significant local historical personality, consider applying to the Community Anniversaries component of Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage. www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/funding/building-communities/festivals.html  . The deadline is also January 31st. For details, please contact them via e-mail at: pch.enligne-online.pch@canada.ca or call Toll-free 1-866-811-0055 or TTY 1-888-997-3123.
The Legacy Fund component which provides funding for community capital projects that commemorate significant anniversaries and involve the restoration, renovation, or transformation of existing buildings and/or exterior spaces with local community significance; encourage arts and heritage activities in your community; and are intended for and accessible to the general public For more details about the Legacy Program, www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/funding/building-communities/legacy-fund.html e-mail them at: PCH.bcah-dcap.PCH@canada.ca or call them at the same phone numbers listed above.

OLD BANK NOTES NO LONGER USED

In accordance with amendments to the Bank of Canada Act and the Currency Act approved by parliament back in 2018, the Federal Government has decided to remove legal tender status from some older bank notes as of January 1st, 2021. This change will affect the $1, $2, $25, $500 and $1,000 bank notes, which are no longer being produced. Essentially, this means that Canadians will no longer be able to use them in transactions. Most citizens will not be affected because the bank notes targeted have not been made in decades and are rarely used in everyday transactions. Importantly, these bank notes will not lose their value. Canadians can redeem them at “face value” or decide to hold them as keepsakes and collector’s items. Those who wish to redeem their old bank notes can do so most easily at their financial institution. Or send them directly to the Bank of Canada. And currently, there are no plans to remove legal tender status from any other bank notes. www.bankofcanada.ca/2020/11/changes-legal-tender-status-take-effect-2021/ 

NEW 311 HRM CONTACT ADDRESS

At the end of November 2020, the HRM 311 Customer Contact Centre’s deployed a new feature to integrate customer e-mails through a telephony e-mail system. As part of this 11 initiative a new e-mail address has been created: ContactUs@311.halifax.ca  . This will replace the previous e-mail address: ContactHRM@halifax.ca . Impacts for residents should be minimal. E-mails from the general public directed to the old e-mail address will be auto-forwarded to the new email address. Residents can visit www.halifax.ca/311 for more info about the 311 Customer Contact Centres. And you still can call 311 to make any municipal service requests or general enquiries.

INPUT ON PLAYFIELD STRATEGY

As part of the development of HRM’s Playing Field Strategy (PFS), the municipality has launched an on-line survey to garner input from the general public. The PFS is a recommendation of the 2016 Community Facilities Master Plan 2 (CFMP2) and is included in the 2020/21 HRM Parks & Recreation Business Plan. The PFS will help guide decisions related to future playing field needs throughout the region over a 15-year time period. It will address all weather and natural turf sport fields (used for activities such as soccer, football, rugby, and ultimate frisbee) and ball diamonds (used for activities such as softball, slo-pitch, fast pitch and baseball). It is anticipated that the strategy will be completed in the Autumn of 2021 and will subsequently be presented to Regional Council for approval. Participation from those who use playing fields for sports as well as any other recreational purposes is encouraged. The survey can be found at www.Halifax.ca/surveys beginning on December 3, 2020 until January 18, 2021.Here are some other social media links to promote public participation in this survey: 

https://www.facebook.com/hfxgov/
https://www.facebook.com/hfxrec
https://twitter.com/hfxrec
https://twitter.com/hfxgov
https://www.instagram.com/hfxmoments/

Should you have specific questions regarding this survey, please contact Phillip Hammond, HRM Recreation Planning Specialist, hammonp@halifax.ca 902.233.0593 Let’s Play Ball