Council nixes request for parade prizes

The Town of Fort Frances won’t be sponsoring any prizes for floats in the Santa Claus parade here Saturday afternoon.
Council voted on a recommendation from the Administration and Finance executive committee to deny the request from the local Business Improvement Association at last night’s regular meeting.
“We denied the Christmas parade request for financial support, but I was wondering what the reason was?” asked Coun. Neil Kabel, who served as deputy mayor last night in Mayor Dan Onichuk’s absence.
“In the past, the Santa Claus parade hasn’t provided contributions for participants,” said Coun. Tannis Drysdale.
“Business have participated out of their own community sprit,” she noted.
“And as the committee discussed, in light of all the other priorities and good works that were necessary to do in the community, businesses should participate with or without a prize attached at the end,” Coun. Drysdale added.
“I believe it should be left to the corporate sector to participate [as sponsors] rather than the pubic, being the Town of Fort Frances,” said Coun. Roy Avis, chair of the Administration and Finance executive committee.
He added his own business, West End Motors, has participated in the parade for years, but never considered if there was a prize at stake.
Fort Frances CAO Mark McCaig noted the town often contributes to such events through in-kind services, such as the Fort Frances Power Corp. hanging lights downtown during the Christmas season.
Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown added in the case of the parade, the town supplies, sets up, and takes down barricades along the route.
“I just thought it was a worthwhile cause and wondered why we didn’t participate?” said Coun. Kabel.
BIA co-ordinator Patti Anderson confirmed this morning that despite the town’s refusal to provide cash for prizes, there definitely will be prizes of some sort for the top floats in Saturday’s parade, which begins at 4:30 p.m.
The route once again will run from the Shevlin wood yard to the TD Bank.
Also at last night’s meeting, council:
•received a report regarding the construction of a sidewalk on the north side of King’s Highway from McIrvine Avenue to Wal-Mart, which pegged the cost around $300,000 (this matter will be part of the 2005 capital budget discussions);
•referred a request from the Borderland Thunder for a financial sponsorship agreement to the Administration and Finance executive committee for a recommendation;
•heard a presentation by Dan McCormick, health services manager with the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board, regarding land ambulance funding woes;
•referred a financial request regarding the 2005 Northwestern Ontario ladies curling playdowns being held here Jan. 5-8 to the Administration and Finance executive committee for a recommendation; and
•received a membership request from the Rainy River District Municipal Association (Coun. Tannis Drysdale offered to put her name forward to be appointed to the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association board of directors).