RRFDC asks for more money

The Rainy River Future Development Corp. pitched a 42.8 percent increase in per capita fees—from $7 to $10—at the Rainy River District Municipal Association’s annual meeting Saturday in Bergland.
Economic development officer Geoff Gillon highlighted several ways the money contributed by the RRDMA has been used to leverage a great deal more money, as well as what has resulted from those projects.
For instance, $18,000 of municipal money saw the federal government contribute $184,000 and private partners chip in $166,000 towards large-scale marketing for the region.
Meanwhile, the Fort Frances border banner project saw $8,215 of local money leverage $57,433 of FedNor money and another $49,290 from other partners.
And nearly $2 million was leveraged for cell phone and broadband projects across the district, with Gillon noting work on the Bergland and Morson towers will begin as soon as the frost is out of the ground.
Work on an abattoir for the district also is continuing, Gillon said, with a public meeting slated for Wednesday, Feb. 15 at the Barwick Hall.
“We are asking people to spend $500 to join and to loan the co-operative $2,000 each,” added Gillon.
He also noted that the plan now has seen the project return to a provincial, rather than federal, facility due to the high costs of doing the latter.
The increase in per capita funding also would allow the RRFDC another $38,000 per year to leverage another $38,000 from FedNor to hire an assistant economic development officer.
RRFDC board member Ken McKinnon urged all councils to consider how important the work of the RRFDC is and to approve the per capita increase, which would come into effect in 2007.
McKinnon also noted that with the change in government in Ottawa, municipalities should lobby their MP to push for continued support from FedNor so the work can continue at the RRFDC and throughout the district.