Council gets two requests regarding school safety

Fort Frances council received letters regarding traffic safety near local schools at its meeting Monday night.
In the first one, Lorena Jenks, chair of the J.W. Walker School Council, noted it’s time the town installed sidewalks along the west side of Keating Avenue to at least Second Street West.
She noted that in May, 2002, the town told the school council “any decisions on sidewalk extension is contingent upon future expansion of the school.”
“As you are well aware, the renovation of J.W. Walker is now complete and every day over 600 students arrive at both J.W. Walker and St. Francis schools by vehicle or walking,” Jenks wrote.
“There are many students walking to Fort Frances High School, as well.
“The staff and school council of J.W. Walker School would like to make the following suggestions to improve the safety of the children that must travel to these schools each day.”
The other suggested changes include:
•moving the “Community Safety Zone” sign eastward so the zone encompasses the intersection of King’s Highway and Keating Avenue (the zone also should include the intersection of McIrvine Road and King’s Highway);
•changing the timing of the lights at both intersections so that more time is given to cross the highway; and
•painting the curb across from J.W. Walker School yellow to remind people that it is a “no parking zone.”
“Hopefully, this matter is dealt with in a timely fashion so a child’s serious injury or death is avoided,” wrote Jenks.
Council referred the request to the Operations and Facilities executive committee for a recommendation.
Meanwhile, council also referred a request from Dianne Thompson, principal of F.H. Huffman School here, regarding the increase of the current school bus loading zone there to the Planning and Development executive committee for a recommendation.
Thompson is requesting the zone be expanded to accommodate a minimum of seven buses.
This extension would mean the bus loading zone would begin at the bus pull in and continue to the corner of Williams Avenue and Fifth Street, thereby ensuring the safety of students when boarding the bus and leaving school at the end of the day, said Thompson.
In other news, council Monday night approved the installation of one time-limited (15-minute) loading/unloading parking space directly in front of the Fort Frances Clinic on the west side of Victoria Avenue.
It also approved the installation of three parking spaces just south of the aforementioned parking space on the west side of Victoria Avenue.
Also at Monday night’s meeting, council:
•accepted a proposal for municipal insurance from AON Reed Stenhouse in the amount of $171,840.96 (this is for a one-year term commencing Nov. 1, 2004);
•noted a request from the City of International Falls regarding the possibility of utilizing the town’s water supply in case of emergency, and agreed to remain open to discussions on the matter in the future; and
•referred a request from Doug Kitowski Trucking regarding a donation to the “spooky trailer” that will be set up at McDonald’s parking lot on Hallowe’en night to Treasurer Peggy Dupuis.
Council directed Dupuis to dole out a donation of up to $200 for candy, as long as it stays within its public relations budget.