Council puts downtown plan in motion

After receiving the Downtown Core Committee report Nov. 30 and agreeing to support several specific recommendations in it, town council moved to get things rolling at Monday night’s meeting.
Mayor Dan Onichuk said the report was discussed earlier Monday during an Economic Development Advisory Committee meeting, at which time it became clear certain parts would have to be directed to other groups before administration could be directed to put together an estimate of costs to fund the projects named in the report.
For instance, the branding of the downtown core as “The Great Canadian Main Street” would have to be handled by the local Business Improvement Association and Chamber of Commerce.
As well, the recommendation to identify potential uses for land would have to be discussed with various landowners by the Planning and Development Advisory Committee.
“I guess what we should do is have a report come back at the next meeting saying we’ve contacted these people regarding these components, be it the BIA or the Chamber, and asked them to come forward with recommendations,” said Fort Frances CAO Mark McCaig.
“I think we need to put together a schedule as to how things will work in the future,” said Mayor Onichuk.
“The purpose of me bringing it up tonight was to get the ball rolling,” noted McCaig.
“Now, the administration can start it,” he added. “We’ll make sure to contact some of the respective parties and make sure the facilitating of some of the recommendations are appropriately handled.”
In other news from Monday night’s meeting, council referred applications from Abitibi-Consolidated for zoning bylaw and official plan amendments, as well as a request for road closures, to the municipal planner, clerk, and all town departments for processing and consideration.
These applications are to buy and re-zone land for a proposed hog-fuel boiler, and close off part of Portage Avenue and Sinclair Street to accommodate this boiler.
The mill is trying to get such a boiler, which would be used to create electricity for the mill here by burning wood waste and thus save the company money.
Also Monday night, council:
•agreed to purchase a table of 10 for the “Community Chest” benefit dinner on Jan. 29 at La Place Rendez-Vous (this is at a cost of $250);
•approved a break-open ticket licence application from the La Verendrye General Hospital Auxiliary at the Bonnie Blue from Jan. 15-July 15, 2006;
•referred a request from Mike Anderson, chair of the local Crime Stoppers, for a letter of release of liability regarding its recent donation of playground equipment to the Administration and Finance executive committee for a recommendation;
•referred a request from Fort Frances “Meals on Wheels” for financial support of its program to the Administration and Finance executive committee for a recommendation;
•referred a request from the Rainy River Valley Safety Coalition for financial support of its 2006 programs to the Administration and Finance executive committee for a recommendation;
•referred a request from Teresa Hazel regarding financial support of a women’s health symposium to the Administration and Finance executive committee for a recommendation (the requested support is in the form of the waiver of the rental fee for the Townshend Theatre on May 13, 2006);
•referred a memorandum from Jim Kibiuk, CEO of Fort Frances Network Services, regarding the Township of Atikokan’s amendment to its operating agreement with Norwest Mobility to the Administration and Finance executive committee for a recommendation;
•passed a bylaw to provide for a 2006 interim tax levy;
•passed a bylaw to authorize temporary borrowing to meet current expenditures of the town for 2006;
•passed a bylaw to authorize an agreement with Hugh Dennis regarding the provision of consulting services;
•passed a bylaw to authorize the execution of an agreement for library funding with the Ontario Trillium Foundation;
•passed a bylaw to authorize the entering into of a government authorized requester agreement with the province of Ontario as represented by the Minister of Transportation; and
•passed a bylaw to establish the retention periods for documents and records of the Town of Fort Frances.