Save the green space for east Fort Frances kids

Dear editor,

As a taxpayer I strongly object to the way all of the taxes we pay are being allocated. This includes municipal property taxes, provincial and federal income taxes, sales taxes on goods and services (both Federal and provincial), taxes on gasoline; and on and on it goes. Rainy River District Social Administration Board,(RRDSAAB) is supported by our taxes from both the provincial and federal governments as well as from municipal property taxes.

Did you know that Fort Frances, being the largest municipality in the area from Rainy River to Atikokan (and paying the lion’s share of the funds) has only one town councillor on the Board? This has been a bone of contention for at least 20 years and is supported by a RRDSAAB by-law. We all know that by-laws can be amended.

The town of Fort Frances by way of amending the zoning by-law (file B1-2021) from Institutional(I) to Residential Type Two (R2) will allow RRDSAAB to purchase the St. Michael’s School property. RRDSAAB’S proposal is to renovate the school for senior’s housing and the remainder property will be used to build 5-8 plexes. We the committee to Save the Knights of Columbus Park and Green Space for Kids do not object to the Senior’s housing, but do object to the loss of the playground and green space.

Prior to the opening of the Knights of Columbus Park in June of 1990, the parents and students held many fund raisers and were able to commit $35,000.00 to purchase the playground equipment, but being short $5,000, The Knights of Columbus members stepped up to the plate and donated the remainder.

In the far north-east corner of the Green Space is a beautiful treed area that the students of the school helped to build. They had two plaques in memory of staff they missed and loved placed amongst the trees. What a wonderful way to teach our children to respect and honour the deceased. There is also a granite monument, thanking the students for their contribution to the planting of 2000 trees across NWO. Under the monument is a time capsule.

We need to save this KC Park and green space for the young families and children in this highly populated part of Fort Frances. Probably paying the bulk of residential municipal taxes than any other area in town.

We know that there are many parents from other parts of town who also drive to this park and green space with their children. The only other park with green space is the McIrvine Park which unless driven by parents is out of reach to this area’s children.

While the children are using the playground equipment, we invite you to take a walk on the green space and view the wonderful treed area made possible by former students of St. Michael’s School.

The committee has filed an appeal with LPAT (Local Planning Appeal Tribunal). Once an appeal has been filed, none of the parties involved can discuss this issue with us, which includes Greg Rickford, MPP’s office.

We hope you will join us in our fight to save this most valuable park and green space for our children. There are many other properties in town which can be used to build 5 – 8 plex apartments.

Respectfully submitted,
Elaine Allen