Friday, March 30, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
City’s pension deficit slashed by $5.9M
(Excerpts of article written By HEATHER MCLAUGHLIN
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Mike O’Brien To Re-Offer for Fredericton City Council
Mike O’Brien, councillor for Ward 3 (Fulton Heights/North Devon) is pleased to announce he is reoffering in the May 14th municipal election. First elected in 2001, O’Brien has served two terms as Deputy Mayor, two years as Development Services Chair, three years as Chair of the Finance Committee and five years (and currently) as Chair of the Affordable Housing Committee.
During his tenure as Finance Chair, Council approved the first municipal tax rate reduction in more than 25 years, and instituted a new long term financial plan that ensures sufficient funding to maintain roads, sidewalks and other crucial infrastructure.
“The past term has been exciting for Fredericton”, states O’Brien. “New recreational and convention facilities were opened, and developers are showing unprecedented levels of confidence in our City. Everyone has embraced the “Green Matters” program confirming Fredericton’s place as a national leader in environmental initiatives. The City is showing that world-class development can be attained in an environmentally responsible and fiscally sustainable manner.”
“The new facilities are extremely important to the city’s future, however, now that they are completed, it is time to refocus. We must keep our property tax rate as the lowest of all NB cities, while maintaining the high level of essential services”, says O’Brien. “Fredericton’s 7.8% debt ratio is also by far the lowest of the other cities, and we must be diligent that it stays so.”
O’Brien supports a four year freeze on new major city capital spending. He says that will provide for secure funding of Fredericton’s vibrant arts, culture and heritage sectors; to enhance Transit; and allow for Council to foster even more city wide green initiatives. He says it will also provide time to plan for a future center to support the social and activity needs of the City’s active senior community.
“On a personal note, I also wish to be a stronger voice for those needing shelter and assistance”, say O’Brien. “The need is great”.
O’Brien is a UNB graduate Mechanical Engineer. He worked several years in the private sector and is presently the Vice President of a provincial Crown Corporation. He is a charter inductee of the Fredericton Sports Wall of Fame, and was also inducted into the Baseball NB Hall of Fame. He has served on the River Valley Health Board of Directors, and was the initial Chair of the Park Street School PSSC.
He and wife Anne have four adult daughters.
Friday, March 23, 2012
CROWNE PLAZA SUBMITS HIGH BID ON FORMER COURTHOUSE
BY HEATHER MCLAUGHLIN
23 MAR 2012 12:20AM
The owners of the Crowne Plaza Hotel property on Queen Street were the high bidders on a public tender call by the provincial Supply and Services Department to acquire the former York County courthouse.
Aquilini Properties LP submitted a bid of $800,000 to purchase the building. The provincial government had set a valuation of $800,000 on the property, which was built in 1858 and designated a national historic site in 1980. The building is located next door to the Beaverbrook hotel property.
The Lord Beaverbrook Hotel is owned by the Aquilini Investment Group of Vancouver, B.C.
Founded almost 50 years ago by Luigi Aquilini, the company has a significant commercial, residential, hotel and golf course portfolio. Acquilini Investments also owns 50 per cent of the Vancouver Canucks and GM Place.
There was only one other bidder for the York County courthouse property. Plaza Atlantic Ltd. bid $500,000 to purchase the building.
The province isn’t bound to accept any of the tenders under the public tendering process.
Aquilini has solidified its position by writing a deposit check for the valuation that the province set on the building.
It will be two to three weeks before the company can expect to hear back from the provincial government on the deal.
Crowne Plaza Hotel general manager Walther Lauffer said it would be premature to comment on the potential uses for the property until the province decides on the tender bids.