Community Improvement Plans delayed

FORT FRANCES—Due to an anticipated change to the province’s Municipal Act, the approval of Community Improvement Plans, which were developed in several municipalities across Rainy River District, has been delayed.
“We’re ready to go ahead, but we’ve been informed there are some changes to the legislation and it doesn’t make sense to submit it and have it come back,” explained Geoff Gillon of the Rainy River Future Development Corp.
“We’ve been advised to wait until the regulatory changes are done and then we’ll submit them,” he added.
Representatives from Emo, Chapple, La Vallee, and Rainy River spent time last year with RRFDC intern Jessie Zhang to generate the CIPs, which would allow the townships to address any unsatisfactory state of affairs in an area.
Zhang’s internship has since expired, but Gillon is confident the CIPs will be submitted once the Municipal Act has undergone its changes.
As well, because the CIPs were produced under the municipalities’ current councils, it is likely the new councils, which will be elected Nov. 13, will have to review the documents.
“The old council did them and they will be submitted under a new council, so they’ll all have to go back through and at least be explained to the new councils,” indicated Gillon, though adding they hope to have CIPs in place in the not-too-distant future.
Each CIP specifically was designed to meet the needs of the particular community, instituting regulations from two types of programs—financial and non-financial.
Changes to land use and zoning regulations, which allow desired activities to be encouraged and undesirable ones to be limited, are non-financial.
The programs that offer grants or loans to owners as an incentive to build or repair properties to meet aims stated in the plan are financial.
Earlier this year, Zhang noted some of the things CIPs might help to achieve included:
•encouragement of small-scale, value-added industries associated with agriculture, forestry, and mining;
•motivation for tourism growth related to diversified forms of tourism activities; and
•improvement of access to telecommunication technology.
(Fort Frances Times)

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