Council gearing up for busy fall

Your mayor and council have just completed a very eventful summer and are gearing up for a busy fall.
Consultations with the four First Nation bands comprising Agency One concerning the future of Pither’s Point Park will be at the forefront of the town’s agenda. The lease on the park expires in the spring of 2009 and many issues need to be discussed before that time.
Council has taken the lead in developing a bylaw to address transmodal containers. This bylaw allows for the location of these units in the industrial park and a building permit must be obtained for permanent placement.
This effectively helps all residents while maintaining prudent property standards.
Council and administration have reviewed the complaint process and have done some fine-tuning. Council will be updated on a regular basis on all complaints and their follow-up.
We also have implemented an online form for submitting complaints through our website. This will give citizens easy and continual access to bring forward concerns.
I encourage residents to utilize this forum to bring forward your complaints in an expeditious manner.
We have had a busy construction season that, as always, brings unforeseen challenges. The water tower project recently was completed and the town’s appreciation goes out to residents for abiding by the water restriction.
Central Avenue construction is proceeding on schedule, with an anticipated completion during September. The underpass has been a difficult project, but the town is committed to ensuring there will be two lanes of traffic and a better sidewalk passage before the winter season.
Our aged infrastructure requires the town to respond in a prudent manner when reviewing project priorities. This council endorses the practice of addressing sewer and water needs when considering road re-construction.
When undertaking these projects, we appreciate the hardship to our citizens as full-scale infrastructure replacement lengthens the construction schedule. We also understand this approach restricts the number of roads we can repair because of budgetary constraints.
We ask for your patience as we move forward. We have a number of projects scheduled for 2009.
The 2009 budget process is upon us and I encourage citizens to participate by bringing forward your views to council through the public meeting that will occur on Sept. 22.
I recently travelled with Couns. Wiedenhoeft and Perry, along with Fort Frances CAO McCaig, to the AMO conference in Ottawa, where we had meetings with six ministries. During these sessions, we addressed issues such as physician shortages, library funding, trails development, bridge line-ups, relocation of the tourist information centre, and forestry concerns.
Mayor and council also recently spent a day-long session at Sunny Cove with administration developing a corporate strategic plan. Everyone found the exercise to be a rewarding experience, and are excited to bring forward our completed plan in October.

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