Corporate sponsors sought for handi-van

Emo will be looking to the private sector to help keep the district’s special-needs transport vehicle on the road, it was learned last week.
As a result of discussions with officials from other district municipalities attending a meeting of the Northern Ontario Municipal Association in Thunder Bay, Reeve Russ Fortier proposed at Emo council’s regular meeting last Thursday night that the township look for additional funding right at home.
The township already has agreed to impose an annual $11 per capita levy to finance the purchase of a new unit, but it is looking at means to raise money to keep the current van operating until enough funds are available to replace it.
Current estimates on the cost of a replacement are around $60,000.
One idea is to install a mechanical Nevada ticket dispenser at the Cloverleaf ShopEasy store in Emo, but the township also is looking to more direct sponsorship.
“I think we should ask the Legion for $500 a year and the [Emo] walleye committee for the same,” Reeve Fortier suggested.
He also asked council to consider asking local businesses to make annual contributions in exchange for having their corporate logos painted on the van.
The handi-van is used throughout the district primarily to transport seniors to doctors’ and hospital appointments. A small number of special-needs students also depend on it to get to and from schools in the district.
The vehicle currently in use has more than 300,000 km on it and is in need of replacement since its reliability has become a matter of concern.
The money to which Reeve Fortier referred will be set aside as a contingency for emergency repairs and maintenance while the district tries to find ways to finance a replacement for the aging unit.
While attending the NOMA meeting, Reeve Fortier also had a chance to tour the new Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre—and was most impressed with what he saw.
“What a beautiful place. You could go there and feel good about being a patient,” he quipped.
In other news, work continues to bring the Emo curling rink back to life. Coun. Geoff Pearce told council last Thursday a proposal was made by Carrie Kellar to sell 1,000 raffle tickets for $5 to raise money for the upgrade.
Coun. Pearce said 14 guaranteed prizes will be up for grabs in the draw, which will be held on New Year’s Eve at the Back Alley Bar (Emo Inn).
In other business, council:
•agreed to pay a $100 per diem to all Emo firefighters who are taking upgrading courses at their own expense;
•scheduled a meeting on the township’s Emergency Management Plan for Oct. 7;
•passed a resolution requested by the Ontario Early Years authorizing the Emo Toy Library and Resource Centre to operate as an Ontario Early Years Centre;
•approved a request from Rachel McQuaker asking that she be appointed to the Emo Toy Library/Resource Centre Advisory Committee;
•tabled a decision on whether to renew the township’s contract with Greg’s Recycling;
•passed a resolution declaring October to be Child Abuse Prevention Month;
•passed a resolution declaring Oct. 27, 2004 as Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day;
•agreed to a request from the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council to declare the week of Oct. 3-9 as Fire Prevention Week; and
•made a $50 donation towards the Emo and Area Hospital Auxiliary tea, bazaar, and bake sale coming up Oct. 15 at the Emo Legion.
The next regular meeting of Emo council is scheduled for Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. at the municipal office.