Assisted living study requested

On behalf of the Town of Fort Frances, I would like to thank both candidates for their participation in the recent byelection. I also would like to thank the host of volunteers who worked on the election.
On behalf of council, I would like to congratulate Ken Perry and welcome him to the table.
The new year has brought forward many challenges for council and we are proceeding in a positive but prudent manner. Our treasury department has compiled preliminary projections for the 2007 year-end that show the potential for a small surplus.
Council is working diligently on the 2008 budget and fully expects to resolve all issues regarding the operating forecast near the end of February.
The capital budget process has proven to be a challenging exercise as we address issues of priority spending.
Some of the capital budget items are water tower repairs, library construction, phase II of the Heritage Tourism Project, connecting link road reconstruction, new equipment purchases, and completion of the underpass.
During my tenure as a mayor and councillor, citizens have expressed a need for assisted living facilities.
The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines was approached to request the use of surplus funds—originally allocated to develop area services boards—to study the concept of assisted living facilities in Fort Frances.
These funds have been held in trust pending future direction on usage. We feel this is an appropriate project to study as it is beneficial to Fort Frances and the entire district.
Council’s representative on the Rainy River District Social Services Administration board (DSSAB), Sharon Tibbs, advises that the ministry is in receipt of the proposal and expects direction to come in late March or early April.
Our DSSAB is partnering with Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc., Atikokan General Hospital, District Mental Health Services for Older Adults Program, and representative consumer advocates to undertake this important study.

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