Council likely to back bass tourney request

While town council made no decision Monday night on whether it will give the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship $10,000 this year, councillors were clear they wanted to help out the non-profit group in some way.
FFCBC chair Doug Cain made three requests at Monday night’s meeting, including:
•a donation of $10,000 to be used exclusively for kids’ and family events (this is to cover the loss of not being able to run a “Reel Raffle” this year);
•passing a proclamation designating the bass tourney as a “significant community festival beneficial to the Town of Fort Frances and its citizens”; and
•taking political action to restructure the legislation and broaden the licensing requirements of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
Cain said the bass tourney was denied a gaming licence to run the “Reel Raffle” this year on the grounds that, despite the fact it is a non-profit organization, the FFCBC did not have a charitable link to the community.
“On Feb. 16, we were informed that the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship would be ineligible for a lottery licence in the future,” relayed Cain.
“The ruling was totally unexpected and comes as a complete reversal of what was anticipated.
“The late date of this unsettling decision precludes the possibility of launching an appeal, or restructuring the organization to meet the new interpretation of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario guidelines,” he added.
Council agreed to do the necessary research, then draft a letter asking for a change to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s guidelines.
This would be sent on to the Rainy River District Municipal Association, the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association, and ultimately the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.
While council already had proclaimed the bass tourney a community event at its Feb. 14 meeting, it agreed to rework the declaration to the exact wording Cain noted would satisfy sponsors and various levels of government when the FFCBC goes looking for funding from them.
The FFCBC’s request for $10,000 was referred to the Administration and Finance executive committee for a recommendation.
Also at last night’s meeting, council agreed to participate in the value-added wood product consultation program as requested by Coun. Tannis Drysdale at its Feb. 14 meeting.
This will mean a cost of $2,000 year for the next three years.
In other business at Monday night’s meeting, council:
•heard a presentation by Jim Neufeld, a clinic administrator from Winkler, Man., on doctor recruitment;
•agreed to adopt, in principle, the concept of moving forward with the construction of a new library in Fort Frances after receiving survey results from library board chair Joyce Cunningham;
•received an annual report from Jeff Trudeau, project manager of American Water Services Canada Corp., on the town’s water treatment plant;
•tabled a proposal to eliminate executive committees to a future meeting;
•agreed to support a letter from the Rainy River Future Development Corp. recommending Coun. Drysdale be appointed to the Northern Ontario Grow Bonds board of directors;
•approved a request from The Kidney Foundation to proclaim March, 2005 as “Kidney Month” in the Town of Fort Frances;
•referred a report from municipal planner Faye Flatt regarding a request to purchase town-owned property off Colonization Road West to the Planning and Development executive committee for a recommendation;
•referred a letter from the Ontario Realty Corp. regarding potentially surplus provincial property to the Planning and Development executive committee for a recommendation;
•passed a bylaw to approve a municipal response agreement with the Ministry of Natural Resources with respect to human/black bear conflict management in town limits;
•passed a bylaw to approve agreements with the MNR with respect to funding under the Bear Wise Funding Program;
•passed a bylaw to approve an on-line user agreement with respect to the use of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s Online Property Tax Analysis (OPTA) program;
•referred a request for input into the 2005-06 Rainy River District School Board budget to the Administration and Finance executive committee for a recommendation, with input from the other executive committees;
•referred a request from the Rainy River District Municipal Association for support of a resolution passed by the Township of Chapple on Nov. 8, 2004 regarding amendments to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act to the Planning and Development executive committee for a recommendation;
•referred a request from the Municipality of West Nipissing for support of its resolution regarding hospital funding to the Administration and Finance executive committee for a recommendation; and
•referred a request from the County of Oxford for support of its resolution regarding the twinning of Ontario municipalities with communities of South Asia devastated by the Dec. 26 tsunami to the Administration and Finance executive committee for a recommendation.

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