Availability of housing, building lots questioned

Town council will receive a letter of concern from Doug Murray, Abitibi-Consolidated regional manager, regarding available building lots and housing for sale in Fort Frances at tonight’s regular meeting.
In a letter dated Oct. 2, Murray noted that between 2007 and the end of 2015, the mill potentially could see more than 200 retirees.
“Not every position will be replaced, but many will,” wrote Murray. “In the trades area, we will be looking for journeymen, along with apprentices.
“We will be competing with other communities and industries in Northwestern Ontario. If people cannot find suitable housing in our town, they will look elsewhere, which will be a negative event for us,” he stressed.
“We wish to keep this mill strong and vibrant, and request your help by opening up a suitable number of new building lots in Fort Frances,” Murray concluded.
Other business at tonight’s council meeting will include:
•a request from the Fort Frances Police Services Board regarding the formation of a border traffic committee;
•a financial request from Kevin Nielson of Shoppers Drug Mart regarding its “Tree of Life” campaign;
•a report from municipal planner Faye Flatt regarding an appeal of a minor variance from the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board;
•a bylaw to authorize the signing of an agreement with the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local #65;
•a request for support from Parents Against Illicit Narcotics (PAIN);
•an invitation to the Rainy River District Harvest Dinner on Oct. 13;
•travel expense claims for Mayor Roy Avis and Couns. John Albanese, Sharon Tibbs, and Rick Wiedenhoeft; and
•a public announcement regarding the testing water for lead content in residential properties.
Tonight’s council meeting is scheduled to start at 6:15 p.m. It will be preceded by the committee of the whole at 5:30, which is expected to remain in-camera until 5:45.