Chamber seeks public input on community plan

With a public meeting on the proposed community improvement plan coming up Oct. 28 at the Civic Centre, the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce is asking its members to give their input on what they think of the document.
“The Chamber actually has a committee in place that’s going through the plan, and determining how it would affect us and if there’s any areas of concern,” Chamber co-ordinator Dawn Booth said this morning.
“We want to be sure we’re headed in the best direction for our membership and for our town,” echoed Chamber president Roberta Oliver.
Booth noted Chamber members are invited to check out the plan themselves. And if they have any issues with it, they should contact the Chamber office on Scott Street (274-5773).
She added the Chamber will present its views on the plan during a brief presentation at the Oct. 28 meeting, which is being held as part of the regular council meeting that night.
Copies of the community improvement plan are available at the Civic Centre.
The plan, which was finished in late August and comes in at 15 pages, is meant to:
•facilitate the efficient and orderly implementation of community improvement policies;
•establish financial incentive programs to encourage rehabilitation, revitalization, and redevelopment of properties in the downtown, industrial, waterfront, and other areas; and
•provide a basis for future programs within the community.
Once public input is taken into consideration, and town council adopts and passes the plan, a formal request then must be made to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for final approval and adoption.
Following a request from town council this past spring, municipal planner Faye Flatt, along with a small committee including local economic development officer Geoff Gillon, has worked on the plan since late May.
In related news, two vacancies still remain on the Chamber’s board of directors.
“There’s a couple of people looking into it but there’s nothing confirmed,” said Booth. “So, if anyone is interested or wants to know more, they can contact me.”
The vacancies came last month after it was announced both Tammy Hayward, formerly of the Red Dog Inn, and Wayne Sabanski of Peterbilt Fort Frances, were stepping down.
Booth noted the board is keeping its fingers crossed that someone hops aboard soon. Board elections for 2003 are coming up at the end of November and it’s possible even more members may step down at that time.
The responsibilities of a director include:
•to help formulate and review various policies, proposed actions, programs, and projects so that the best interest of the Chamber and community can be accomplished through concerted action;
•to provide the personal leadership, enthusiasm, and support necessary to help co-ordinate and build an effective organization geared to solving community problems; and
•to evaluate and act on issues which come, or should come, before the board of directors.
The current board consists of Darren Brown (B93-FM), Christine Denby (Gillons’ Insurance Brokers), Tannis Drysdale, Louise Holzer (Royal Bank), Tammi Shoemaker (Tammi’s Flower Garden), Larry Syrovy (Rainy Lake Hotel), and Debbie Williamson (Clinic Pharmasave).
The executive includes Oliver, first vice-president Brian Hagarty, second vice-president Alan Tibbetts, treasurer Kelly Spicer, and past president Marla Thomson.
You do not need to be a business owner to sit on the board but your affiliated business must belong to the Chamber, Booth noted.