Council OKs closure of runway


The permanent closure of Runway 03/21—commonly known as “Cross Runway”—was approved by town council at yesterday evening’s meeting.
The runway will be officially closed as of September 30, 2009, following a recommendation and report from the town’s Operations and Facilities executive committee.
“The runway was built and paved in 1985 and is now in disrepair and the surface has reached it’s useful life,” noted Coun. Paul Ryan, who chaired yesterday evening’s committee of the whole meeting.
“The secondary runway is not eligible for Transport Canada funding, as it is not used by scheduled passenger flights and it is estimated to cost approximately $1 million—and I think it will be over that—to rehabilitate and repave,” he added.
In 2008, Ryan noted, 238 out of the 5,982 aircraft movement used the Cross Runway at the airport.
The runway, which is 2,600 feet long by 75 feet wide is mainly utilized by smaller aircraft “traveling in a northerly direction for convenience rather than necessity,” noted the report on closure of the runway that was submitted to council by Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown.
With the closure of the Cross Runway, these aircraft can utilize the main runway, the report stated.
“However, it should be clearly stated that [Cross Runway] is utilized by smaller aircraft when there is a substantial crosswind on the main runway thus adding an additional safety feature to the airport facility,” the report added.
The runway is not being utilized by Bearskin Air, as it is too short.
The town will continue to seek funding to repair and rehabilitate the Cross Runway, Ryan stated.
Also at yesterday evening’s meeting, council:
•proclaimed the last week of August 2009 as “National Bowling Week” in Fort Frances;
•approved the 2009 service contracts for the delivery of the town’s Children’s Complex Service programs with the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board;
•authorized the payment for the Fun in the Sun’s auditorium rental from the council’s public relations expense;
•approved a tender with Potter Environmental for municipal special or hazardous waste service provider and agreed to the date of Saturday Sept. 12 (from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) for a Household Hazardous Waste Day in Fort Frances;
•received activity reports from Community Services manager George Bell and Environmental and Facilities Superintendent Doug Herr;
•approved a break open ticket licence application from La Verendrye General Hospital Auxiliary at Bonnie Blue from Aug. 14, 2009-Jan. 14, 2010;
•referred a letter from condominium developer Robert Zanette to the Planning and Development executive committee for recommendation;
•referred a financial request from Northwest Ontario’s Sunset Country Travel Association re: annual per capita marketing contribution to the Administration and Finance executive committee for recommendation;
•received correspondence from Anna Carlson and Dave Bourgeault regarding hedges and fences; and
•referred a financial request from the Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association’s sales barn party committee re: 50th anniversary of the Stratton Sales Barn Celebration on Sept. 19 to the Administration and Finance executive committee for recommendation.