Council OKs curling club tax arrear extension

Duane Hicks

Town council on Tuesday night approved a request from the Fort Frances Curling Club to change the date of its tax arrears payments from July 31 to Sept. 30.
Coun. Sharon Tibbs told council the Administration and Finance executive committee reviewed the curling club’s arrangement with the town to pay its arrears a second time.
And after learning more information about how the curling club’s finances worked, the committee found it made sense to change the date (which was first set to align with the tax bill due date) to better suit the curling club’s cash flow ability since their seasonal registrations are held in September of each year.
“We felt it was a reasonable request,” Coun. Tibbs noted.
As previously reported, the town and curling club struck a deal in 2007 for the club to pay its outstanding taxes by 2014.
The club owes the town more than $30,000, and the first of five $6,100 annual payments is now due Sept. 30.
Also Tuesday night, council agreed to provide 6,000 tonnes of granular fill from the excavated materials taken from the biomass road project to the developers of the former Fort Frances High School property if they demolish the old J.A. Mathieu portion of the structure.
The agreement comes with multiple terms and conditions, including:
•the developers must install a tarp onto the chain link fence so the public cannot see the stockpiled dirt;
•the developers will be charged $100 per tandem truck load (they can pay for using a municipal service grant credit they have up to $63,017.62);
•if any of the excavated earth is stockpiled on town property, the developers will be responsible for all of the costs associated to load and transport the earth;
•they will have to demolish the existing J.A. Mathieu section of the high school and backfill with the excavated earth materials the footprint of the existing building by Sept. 20, 2010; and
•they will have to landscape the site once the building is removed to ensure positive drainage and that no water will be allowed to pond on the surface of the property.
Council formalized the agreement when it passed a bylaw to approve an amendment to a development agreement with Steve William Both, Charles Richard Morken, and Russell James Pollard re: development at 260 First St. E. (the old Fort Frances High School).
Also at Tuesday night’s meeting, council:
•authorized a FedNor contract amendment for the Fort Frances Technology Centre (this is to reflect changes in equipment purchased);
•awarded a cleaning contract for the Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre to S&A Cleaners for $27,120 annually;
•referred a report regarding a new sign bylaw back to the Planning and Development executive committee for its reconsideration and recommendation;
•received and approved the April, 2010 drinking water systems report;
•authorized the annual review of the town’s Occupational Health and Safety Policy;
•agreed to participate jointly with International Falls in promoting the International Tug-of-War on Friday, June 4 in the amount of $400;
•approved an application for funding for the purpose of collecting, collating, compiling, and formatting bridge asset and condition data, and agreed to submit bridge asset and condition data for inclusion in the Municipal Data Works by March 31, 2011;
•referred a letter from D. Angus re: sewer issues at 606 Second St. W. to the Operations and Facilities executive committee for its recommendation;
•referred a request from the Downtown BIA board re: assistance with in-kind operational services to the Administration and Finance executive committee for its recommendation;
•agreed to proclaim June 12, 2010 as “Family Council Day” in Fort Frances, as per the request of the Rainycrest Family Council;
•passed a bylaw to amend Zoning Bylaw 8/98-824 Victoria Ave. (this amendment includes rezoning the property from Local Commercial (1) to Institutional (I), permitting a place of worship on the property, eliminating the requirement to provide off-street parking, and reducing the minimum lot area, frontage, and coverage and yard setback requirements);
•passed a bylaw to amend Bylaw 22/99 (a bylaw to approve an agreement with CHUMS Financing Corp. and Local Authority Services Ltd. with respect to the One Investment Program;
•passed a bylaw to continue the Town of Fort Frances Fire and Rescue Service;
•passed a bylaw to grant an easement to Bell Canada over certain municipal lands; and
•passed a bylaw to establish tax ratios for the prescribed property classes.