Alberton decides to fund RRFDC

Alberton council ultimately decided to support the Rainy River Future Development Corp. at its regular meeting last Wednesday after revisiting the discussion tabled since mid-February.
The RRFDC had asked Alberton for $7 per capita for the 2006-07 fiscal year to help fund its services, meaning Alberton would contribute $6,692.
“After the last meeting, I did some further research on it and I am willing to step on board,” noted Coun. Mike Ford, who had said he “could go either way on this one” at the Feb. 8 meeting.
Alberton Reeve Mike Hammond previously had warned the cost was steep and he didn’t see a direct benefit to the community, but changed his mind at last week’s meeting.
“Maybe it is something we should back,” he remarked. “It would be nice if [the RRFDC] could do something here to help us out.”
Coun. Doug Mitchell noted the RRFDC helps small businesses, and said small businesses are the backbone of a community.
“I’ve had people ask why we are not supporting it when we try to be strong as a district in respect to farming, tourism, and the border. I think we should try it for at least a year,” argued Coun. Barb Cournoyer.
She had been on board to provide the funding since February’s meeting. “We do have people accessing [the RRFDC],” Coun. Cournoyer said.
It was noted the RRFDC could be helpful with community improvement plans, as well as possibly assisting those recently laid-off from Abitibi-Consolidated who may want to do something.
This will be the first payment the Township of Alberton has made to the RRFDC since 2002.
In other business last Wednesday night, Alberton council approved reimbursement of library fees for 12 families as part of a newly-established program.
Non-residents of Fort Frances must pay $50 to acquire a library card for the Fort Frances Public Library, so council agreed to reimburse Alberton residents who bring in their receipts.
“We’ve had the best response from this than we’ve had for anything,” enthused Clerk-Treasurer/CAO Dawn Hayes, adding many people have inquired about the reimbursement.
Alberton council had agreed at a previous meeting the program would be an excellent way to promote literacy, as well as help to achieve the township’s vision set out in its strategic plan.
“I’m glad to see people taking advantage of it,” said Coun. Ford. “There’s been a lot of positive response.”
Coun. Louis Collier noted not only does this give Alberton residents access to books, but also videos and DVDs.
Those who have purchased library memberships earlier this year also are eligible for the reimbursement. If they cannot find their receipts, it was noted the library should have a copies.
Also at last Wednesday’s meeting, Alberton council:
•approved payment of $145,860.15 to accounts payable, $5,770.89 to payroll, and $476.67 to Visa;
•awarded George Armstrong Co. the 2006 gravel tender, Northwest Road Management the 2006 dust suppressant tender, and D&A Construction the fire hall roof tender;
•approved the 2006 Strategic Plan for Public Education and Awareness and the 2006 Strategic Plan for Smoke Alarm Program;
•appointed Couns. Collier and Ford as line fence reviewers;
•agreed to send Hayes to an emergency management meeting (CEMC) in Thunder Bay on June 8;
•deemed May 12 as Canada Health Day;
•reviewed the 2006 budget;
•passed bylaws to establish tax ratios for 2006, tax capping options for 2006, and minimum level of taxation for New Construction and New-to-Class properties in capped classes for 2006;
•approved signing of the contract for the fire dispatch services in Dryden;
•agreed to participate in the lottery licensing training session scheduled for May 18 in Rainy River;
•chose Roy Forsythe as 2006 Senior of the Year;
•donated four shirts and four mugs as door prizes for the NOMA conference; and
•agreed to donate $100 to Fort High’s “chem-free” grad party in June.