Bridge, Customs celebration in the works

Duane Hicks

set for July 2
A celebration marking the 100th anniversary of the International Bridge and Canada Customs facility in Fort Frances will be held Wednesday, Aug. 1.
Coun. Rick Wiedenhoeft told council at last night’s regular meeting that a come-and-go wine-and-cheese event will be held at the Fort Frances Museum from 4-7 p.m., with dignitaries to speak at 5 p.m.
They are expected to include Mayor Roy Avis and International Falls Mayor Shawn Mason, Fort Frances Museum curator Sherry George and her counterpart from the Falls, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials, and possibly representatives from Resolute Forest Products and Boise Paper.
The event will be open to the public, who can attend the speeches at 5 p.m. or drop in anytime during the event, noted Coun. Wiedenhoeft.
The local museum also will be hosting a month-long exhibit based on the 100th anniversary.
Fort Frances and International Falls councils will be splitting the cost of the event with CBSA.
Council passed a resolution approving a public relations expense of up to $200.
Meanwhile, plans are shaping up for the annual International Tug-of-War between Fort Frances and International Falls.
Scheduled for Monday, July 2, the event will see teams on each side of the river “Pulling for Peace.”
It will start at 5 p.m. because July 2 is not a holiday on the U.S. side.
Three pulls are planned this year. The first will be a “celebrity pull,” which will be held at 5:15 p.m. after introductions.
This pull will features celebrities (20 pullers to a side).
The second will be a “community pull,” with teams of 40 people per side picked by the celebrities from amongst the citizens gathered at the Sorting Gap Marina that evening.
Coun. Wiedenhoeft said anyone aged 16 years and older who wishes to be part of the “community pull” can show up and they just might get picked.
Finally, the third will be the “power pull.” Slated to take place sometime between 5:30 and 6 p.m., this one will be for the “Pulling for Peace” trophy and bragging rights.
This pull will feature each side’s strongest competitors. Those interested in lending their muscle to the Fort Frances team are encouraged to contact Mike Gurski (274-5498).
“We’ve got to defend Canada’s honour here,” urged Coun. Wiedenhoeft, noting Fort Frances has won three of the past four cross-border tugs-of-war.
The “power pull” will be followed by a barbecue at the Sorting Gap Marina, hosted by the Fort Frances Kiwanis Club.
This celebration will be free, but the public is welcome to make a donation to the service club.
Committees on both sides of the border have been working hard to organize the tug-of-war.
On this side, Coun. Wiedenhoeft has been joined by Coun. Andrew Hallikas, Bill Gushulak, Sarah Hallikas, Leanna Moffitt, and Jillian Berry.
Council passed a resolution last night approving a public relations expense of up to $780 to assist with the event.
The actual amount may end up being lower than this due to proceeds from T-shirt sales at the event.
Also at last night’s meeting, council:
•received the 2011 audited town financial statements from Jon Evans and Jeff Savage of BDO Dunwoody;
•received activity reports from the chairs of the Administration and Finance, Community Services, Operations and Facilities, and Planning and Development executive committees;
•passed a bylaw to award a contract, under Tender 12-PD-06, to Racco Industrial Roofing for a Civic Centre roof retrofit (the contract price is $284,328.34);
•passed a bylaw to authorize entering into a lease agreement with Bell Mobility Inc. for space to install antennae on the municipal water tower; and
•passed a bylaw to approve a contract to 1204626 Ontario Inc. Makkinga Contracting and Equipment Rentals for road reconstruction and watermain replacement (the contract price is $801,341.76).
This includes work this summer, most notably the replacement of 743 metres of watermain along King’s Highway, from just east of Daniel Avenue to Pit Road No. 1, as well as next year.