Alberton reeve, council slam school closure

Alberton Reeve John Milling expressed his disappointment with the Rainy River District School Board’s plan to close Alberton Central School in a letter to council.
He read the letter at council’s regular monthly meeting last Wednesday night, and other councillors also spoke about their dissatisfaction with the decision.
“The RRDSB has a difficult job to do and I respect that,” Reeve Milling said in the letter. “The school board members are elected and they work for us, not unlike ourselves. Today, more than ever, money talks.
“The documents produced by the board show that a projected savings of $200,000 annually for the consolidation of three schools. That is, if everything else is constant.
“Alberton citizens contribute in excess of $244,000 annually to the public school system,” he continued.
Reeve Milling complimented Alberton residents for their “excellent job in making their objections loud and clear” and suggested the “citizens of Alberton are not helpless in their plight.”
He suggested they have options about which school board gets their education tax dollars.
“It’s a difficult situation,” agreed Coun. Bill Morrison, adding the local public school board “needs our students” to fill the school in Fort Frances.
Coun. Morrison also said they were told in early March that Alberton Central needed students to remain open—yet it has the highest enrolment in the district.
There also has been talk of Alberton parents launching a class-action suit against the school board.
The board is scheduled to make a decision on whether to close Alberton Central, as well as Alexander MacKenzie and Sixth Street in Fort Frances in favour of an expanded J.W. Walker here, at its next meeting May 1.
Also last Wednesday night:
•Fort Frances OPP S/Sgt. Hugh Dennis gave an update to council on police service in Alberton;
•a report from Greg’s Recycling showed the service was going well;
•council passed a resolution declaring May 6-12 Emergency Preparedness Week;
•council passed a resolution authorizing the township clerk to attend a training session on the new Municipal Act in Thunder Bay on May 14; and
•council passed a resolution to support the city of Woodstock in its quest to have the province enact legislation to strengthen Canada’s system of sentencing, correction, parole, and release.

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