Council to approve Sorting Gap agreement

By Merna Emara
Staff Writer

The Town of Fort Frances council is expected to enter into an agreement with the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund (NOHF) for upgrade work at the Fort Frances Sorting Gap Marina scheduled between 2021 and 2022.

The town has received $376,995 from NOHF, about 70 per cent of the funding required to complete the project.

Travis Rob, Operations and Facilities manager, said there is a $124,994 fund from FedNor the town has yet to receive. The remaining funds of $95,620, are to be provided by the town.

“We’re still waiting on the FedNor allocation,” Rob said. “We applied for two grants, NOHF being the first and then FedNor being the second.”

Rob said in the spring of this year, some docks were replaced.

“In addition to that, we’ve got some electrical upgrades that we’re looking to do with some; looking at adding some shore power to some slips, upgrading, lighting, upgrading security systems, just related to the upgrades at the marina,” Rob said.

The plan for the Operations and Facilities division, Rob added, is to undertake the rest of the docks in the springtime because that’s the critical piece to make sure that when people are ready to put the boats in the water, they have docks in place.

Rob added that the electrical and security component will take place next summer.

The new docks will also meet the Accessibility for Ontarians Disability Act (AODA), in terms of their ability to be accessed by someone with a disability, Rob said.

However, he added that, although the town is not required to have barrier-free docks, it is still factored in their procurement for longer term planning.

“I would love to be able to say we have accessible docks, but there’s a few pieces involved in that we have to work through that are going to take time to get to that stage,” Rob said. “That’s not something that we will be able to accommodate after this summer. We’re not obligated to by regulation, but we’re moving in the right direction anyway.”

The amount the town is expected to contribute for the project will be tabled as a partially funded capital item for the 2022 budget. Rob said this is the same process as applications for roadwork projects, adding that partially funded projects are more desirable than projects to be fully funded by the municipality.

“Typically, there isn’t a lot of deliberation on the partially funded ones,” Rob said. “Some of our partially funded capital projects, we don’t have the funding for yet. They’re put in there as partially funded, but they only go ahead if we receive the funding.”