Coming up on council tonight

By Merna Emara
Staff Writer

Tonight will be the first meeting of the month for the Fort Frances council. The next meeting will take place on Sept.13.

During the Committee of the Whole meeting, council will decide on whether to approve the recommendation of the Administration and Finance Executive Committee to pledge $60,000 to the Riverside Foundation for Health, should the surplus be available.

Dawn Galusha, town treasurer, said the funding goal is $1.5 million. Galusha said in the report that although the 2021 town budget is already set, there are other options, such as spreading the amount over the 2022-2024 budgets. The committee will also be challenging other municipalities in the district to pledge towards this campaign.

According to the committee’s report, the “Picture This” campaign will bring new state-of-the-art health care equipment to the municipality. The campaign will upgrade the X-ray room to digital, purchase an elevating table for the fluoroscopy room and purchase a new digital mammography machine in order to provide care for the communities in the Rainy River District.

Council will also decide on whether to approve the recommendation to apply for the Ontario CCTV Grant Program for the 2021-2022 grant cycle through a partnership between the Town of Fort Frances and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).

This is a one-year grant that expands CCTV systems in municipalities as part of the Ontario Guns, Gangs and Violence Reduction Strategy.

Jeremy Hughes, information technology manager, said in his report to the Police Services Board that Fort Frances experiences relatively high crime rates. Hughes said that in 2020, 45 per cent of all front line calls for service responded to by the Fort Frances OPP were in the downtown core.

“These calls include violence, property, drug, and gun and gang related crime, along with operational calls for service,” the report states. “The concentration of calls originating from the downtown core is expected to increase as pandemic restrictions are lifted.”

Hughes added that the implementation of the CCTV technology will help support the OPP’s vision for safe communities by decreasing violent crime, gun and gang activity and decreasing the time needed to identify suspects and witnesses.

Town council meetings are open to the public online through the Microsoft Teams platform or the public can phone-in. To access a town council meeting, follow the instructions at the top of the agenda you would like to attend, posted at or call 807-274-5323 for assistance.