What municipal services are provided in Saint John?

From PlanSJ documentation: Improving the condition of our vast network of roads, and funding operations such as snow removal and street cleaning, requires massive public investment. The costs of providing municipal services like roads, transit, solid waste collection, fire and police services, and water, sanitary sewer, and drainage networks, have a direct relationship with the pattern of development. The more spread out the pattern of development, the higher the costs to the City in delivering and maintaining these services, leaving the City with fewer resources to fund other programs.

Many rural settlement areas have been developed without municipal services. For a variety af reasans, such as groundwater safety, public health concerns, and the public’s desire for increased services, there is a significant financial risk that on-site systems will have ta be replaced with municipal services at some point.

The existing water system alsa faces same other seriaus challenges. The most immediate challenges are the need for drinking water treatment and the deteriorating condition of the City’s aging water system infrastructure. The City of Saint John, residents and industry alike, consumes 75 billion litres of drinking water per year. This water is carried to homes and businesses in approximately 100km of water transmission mains and 400km of smaller water distribution pipes.

The extent of the water distribution system is concentrated in the urban core of the City. However, there are several suburban neighbourhoods which are serviced by relatively long transmission pipes. Safe, clean drinking water has been recognized as a priority for Saint John. The City has developed a plan that will overhaul the water system, including one new water treatment plant, two new storage reservoirs and substantial infrastructure renewal through a series of system improvements.

Saint John has one of the oldest municipal water and sewage systems in North America and currently releases untreated sewage into the Harbour. Much of Saint John’s sewage system, about 60%, was designed to collect both stormwater from streets and sewage water from homes into a single pipe and to discharge the contents without treatment into the Saint John Harbour.

In recent years, the City has begun to implement the Harbour Clean Up project to install separate pipes to enable sanitary sewer flows to be treated before being discharged into the natural environment. The City plans to treat 100% of its sewage by 2012, largely through upgrades to existing facilities and completion of the new Hazen Creek wastewater treatment facility.

Police

Saint John’s 166 police officers provide a variety of services, including community policing, special investigations, K-9 units, emergency tactical police units and victim services. The Saint John Police Farce (SJPF) operates Community Police Offices (CPOs) co-located in priority neighbourhood Community Development Centres, owned and operated by groups established to develop community capacity. All of these services help ensure Saint John remains a safe place to live.

Providing adequate police services within Saint John is a complex task since the daytime population is considerably higher with the influx of commuters from outside the city. As a regionally important employment hub with large retail commercial shopping areas, large health care institutions, a university, community college, and provincial correctional centre, as well as the large land base of the City presents greater challenges to the SJPF than those seen in other municipalities.

Education

There are 30 elementary and secondary schools in the City of Saint John. In 2009, community and education leaders struggled with the decision to close several local schools, ultimately opting against such measures. However, as enrolment continues to decline and schools continue to age, the need to right size our educational institutions will become more pressing.

Similar to the local school districts, the University of New Brunswick’s Saint John campus has been experiencing some decline in enrolment for the past few years. Alternatively, enrolment at the New Brunswick Community College has remained relatively stable during the past six years. The new Dalhousie medical program at UNBSJ will add to the City’s post-secondary options.

Fire

The Saint John Fire Department has 195 permanent and casual personnel located in seven fire stations throughout the City. The demands placed on the fire protection service in Saint John are unlike mast communities in Canada. The challenges associated with fire protection in Saint John are primarily due to the large concentration of “high risk” industrial operations. Another challenge is the significant number of large, wooden-framed buildings in urban core neighbourhoods. Many of these buildings are three storeys tall and are often very close or physically attached to ather wooden structures. Fires in these homes require rapid aggressive fire attacks as well as search and rescue functions. The majority of the City falls within a six minute response time of at least one fire station. However, the geographic  distribution of developed areas and high risk industrial facilities has resulted in a wide distribution of fire stations. There are several residential and industrial areas within Saint John beyond the six minute response time threshold.

Health

Health core in Saint John is provided through two hospitals, the Saint John Regional Hospital (SJRH),and SI. Joseph’s Hospital. Saint John Regional with a total of 524 beds, is southern New Brunswick’s primary centre for acute care, and is one of only two accredited tertiary trauma centres in Atlantic Canada. SJRH offers long-term mental health services through a separately managed facility known as “Centracare”, a 50-bed tertiary care facility that provides continuous care to individuals suffering from mental health illnesses. St. Joseph’s Hospital, with a total of 104 beds, is composed of four key components; Medical/Surgical Hospital Services; Community Health Centre; Women’s Health Centre; and Health and Aging Program.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.