Council gives helping hand to curling club

With the qualifying round for the Ontario Scott Tournament of Hearts to be held Jan. 29-Feb. 4 at the Fort Frances Curling Club, town council agreed last night to grant the club a request for funding.
While organizers originally were asking for $1,000 from the town, they ended up getting $1,400 upon a recommendation of the Administration and Finance executive committee—a fact Mayor Dan Onichuk questioned.
But CAO Mark McCaig explained that “because it’s a tournament that has affiliations at the provincial, national, and international level,” the Administration and Finance executive committee adjusted the amount according to the town’s policy for tournaments or events of significance.
This policy calls for a per capita amount based on the number of participants at the event or tournament, thus resulting in the higher than requested amount.
This same policy was used when the town gave a grant to the OFSAA hockey tournament that will be held here in March.
“I understand what’s in the policy. I just find it odd we’re approving $400 they never asked for,” said Mayor Onichuk.
The grant will be used to offset hospitality costs for curlers (e.g., meals).
< *c>GHA resolution
Council also agreed last night to amend a resolution passed Oct. 24 to finance the Group Health Association (GHA) with up to $1 million to purchase the Fort Frances Clinic.
The amended version states the financing now will be specifically for a yet-to-be-formed, not-for-profit community-based organization, not the GHA.
It also states GHA will not be identified as a board member in this new community-based organization but strictly as a consultant.
These amendments were made at the request of GHA following a meeting of its board of directors Nov. 24 in Sault Ste. Marie.
The vote to make these amendments was 5-2, with Couns. Roy Avis, Tannis Drysdale, Todd Hamilton, Neil Kabel, and Rick Wiedenhoeft in favour of it. Mayor Onichuk and Coun. John Albanese were against it.
Also at last night’s meeting, council:
•referred a request from the Kiwanis skate park committee for $120,000 in bridge financing, plus a financial contribution of council’s choosing, to the Administration and Finance and Community Services executive committees for a recommendation;
•received an information report from local MP Ken Boshcoff to be used to identify the issues and legislation which must be observed for the purchase and operation of the international bridge here;
•approved a break-open ticket licence application from the Muskie Touchdown Booster Club;
•passed a bylaw to approve an amendment to a contract with Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board for the provision of child care services by the town;
•referred a letter from Legion Br. #29, regarding the conservation of the Fort Frances cenotaph, to the Operations and Finance executive committee for a recommendation;
•referred a letter from the Township of Chapple, requesting Fort Frances support a resolution Chapple had passed stating the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board revisit the apportionments to townships within the district, to the Administration and Finance executive committee for a recommendation;
•referred a request from the Northwest Catholic District School Board, regarding relocating a bus loading zone at St. Michael’s School and putting up additional signage, to the Planning and Development executive committee for a recommendation; and
•received a letter from the Police Services Board with appreciation.
This letter informed council that the PSB recently rescinded a resolution it had passed on Sept. 23 in support of a resolution of the City of Owen Sound regarding court security costs.
The PSB also has agreed to support the resolution of council to support the Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s stance on the issue of full recovery of court costs.