Abbotsford Week In Review: Dec. 30-Jan. 5

Condo, townhouse owners should brace for greater tax burden, incentive to hire more nurses and more

Condominium prices keep climbing. (THE NEWS/files)

Here are some of our biggest stories from the week of Dec. 30, 2018 to Jan. 5, 2019.

BC Assessments are out, and it’s bad news for townhouse and condo owners

The assessments, which value properties throughout B.C. for July 1, 2018, mean condos and townhouses will be taking on a greater share of local property taxes than in previous years.

That’s because strata units – condos and townhouses combined – rose 28 per cent in value year-over-year, compared with just 11 per cent for residential properties across all classes in Abbotsford. Single-family detached homes rose just nine percent in the latest assessment.

Since property taxes are calculated to a rate per $100,000 of property value, the rise in value of strata units means they will take on more of the city’s tax burden.

Read more on this story here.

The B.C. government has 100 million reasons to resolve the nursing shortage

The incentive arises out of a new tentative contract agreement between the B.C. Nurses Union and the provincial government.

The contract, to be voted on by union members later this month, includes a premium for nurses working in under-staffed units, with nurses hoping the premium will spur more hires. If staffing doesn’t meet the minimums, the premium is estimated to amount to $100 million.

At ARH, Fraser Health spent over $1 million in 2017/18 to fly in out-of-region nurses for adequate staffing at ARH, meaning the premium could be particularly relevant at our local hospital.

Read more on this story here.

Fraser Health chooses overdose prevention over supervised consumption

As Fraser Health made its first overdose prevention site (OPS) designation in the city, a feasibility study was conducted to determine whether or not the city should get a supervised consumption site (SCS).

Now, two years later, the health authority says it’s no longer looking at the SCS model for the city of Abbotsford, citing a lack of geographic concentration for substance use in the city.

“Supervised consumption services are most appropriate when there’s a concentration of substance use in a particular area. Studies typically show that people will not travel significant distances to attend a supervised consumption site,” said Fraser Health spokesperson Jacqueline Blackwell.

Read more on this story here.

Grieving mom wants her ‘most amazing little girl’ known

Nearly a half-year after Megan Kinnee, 19, died in a motorcycle crash, Bree Kinnee is speaking out so her daughter, “the most amazing little girl,” will be remembered by the community as more than a tragic headline.

Megan was on the back of a motorcycle driven by her boyfriend when it crashed into an SUV, killing her instantly. Now, her mother says it’s important for the community to know who Megan was.

“The only story I got to see was her on the ground being worked on, and I just can’t let that be the last thing people know about Megan,” Bree said.

Read more on this story here.

Abbotsford’s first baby of 2019 is a ‘shining light’

Abbotsford’s first newborn of 2019 is a healthy five-pound 13-ounce girl.

Zoelle Gia Bellen was born 42 minutes into 2019, 11 days before she was due – and the early bird was eager to get out. Gary Bellen says his wife, Rizza Bellen, went into labour at a New Years party at 11 p.m., just under two hours before their daughter was born.

Zoelle, which means “shining light” in Arabic, is sister to Zyra Bellen.

Read more on this story here.

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