Good for district is good for town

One of the candidates at last Tuesday night’s forum made a statement that what is good in the district is good for Fort Frances.
All too often we forget the value that district businesses contribute not only to the economy of the host community but also to the economy of Fort Frances.
Since its opening first as Voyageur Panel, then later as Ainsworth and now Norbord, many of the employees live within the boundaries of Fort Frances. Throughout the area, most of those employees shop the stores and use the restaurants of Fort Frances.
Those purchases, whether directly for the mill or for personal use, do contribute to the well-being of Fort Frances businesses.
The opening of the New Gold mine employing hundreds of workers also has contributed to the success of many businesses across the district. Business have expanded and are employing more people.
As well, many of the workers live within the boundaries of Fort Frances and they pay taxes to the Town of Fort Frances. Again, what is good for the district becomes good for Fort Frances.
From Nestor Falls to Morson to Rainy Lake and on to Mine Centre, tourists arrive to enjoy our great outdoors. Those camps depend on local stores to provide groceries for those visitors. It initially may be stores in Nestor Falls, Morson, and Emo but eventually those tourist dollars find their way into the tills in Fort Frances.
Many of the employees may be seasonal but they, too, contribute to the health of Fort Frances.
The Times has written about the success of the cattle sales at the sales barn in Stratton. District farmers sold more than $3 million in cattle in two sales–a huge influx of cash to the district agriculture community.
Cattle farms have grown and some now handle more than 500 animals at a time. It is a huge business employing often more than the farm family but others to maintain equipment, and assist in the planting, harvesting, and caring for herds.
Over the past several years, district farmers have invested in large expansions to grow more cash crops. Clearing land and putting in ditches to handle tile drainage all has involved local contractors. Several million dollars has been invested.
The volume of grain that has continued to grow now has more than one trucker hauling grain either to Minneapolis or Thunder Bay to be shipped further. Those grain sales continue to grow both in volume and value–and that money keeps coming back to the district to be used. Total farm gate receipts as compiled by Ontrio Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in 2017 for the Rainy River Distric was $22.8 million dollars.
Agriculture always has played a big role in the economy of Fort Frances, although it is often overlooked.
Fort Frances does not have any agriculture land but as the largest centre in the district, it services the needs of district residents who shop in the community.
We often tend to forget all the enterprises across the district that contribute to Fort Frances’ economy.
Yes what is good for the communities of the district is good for Fort Frances.

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