Council to get word on remand centre

Whether Fort Frances will land a remand centre, replacing the jail which is slated to close in 2004, is be one of the items topping the agenda at Monday night’s town council meeting.
Mayor Glenn Witherspoon said this morning he wasn’t sure what the consultants—Sandy Baroudi and Gerry Pisarzowski of the Toronto-based Advisory Services/GPA—would say about the feasibility of landing the facility.
“It’s really a dog’s breakfast at this point,” he noted. “They’ve been calling and talking to people at the jail, lawyers, courthouse staff, our administrator [CAO Bill Naturkach].
“The news we get will be the reality we’ll have to face,” the mayor added. “I’m sure there’s been no stone left unturned—Sandy and Gerry are great.”
The proposed remand centre, used to house prisoners who have yet to be sentenced, would be a 28-bed facility. It could provide 27 jobs.
Mayor Witherspoon noted the consultants have looked into two alternatives—demolishing the current jail and building a new facility next to the courthouse, or renovating, upgrading, and expanding the existing jail.
“The only thing I can say for sure is there will be a jail here when it’s over and done,” he vowed.
The consultants met with Mayor Witherspoon, Naturkach, Coun. Deane Cunningham, and Community Services manager George Bell over lunch earlier today, and will meet behind closed doors with the committee of the whole before tonight’s council meeting.
The meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at the Civic Centre, with the committee of the whole getting underway at 5 p.m. downstairs.
Other business at Monday’s meeting will include:
•a presentation on the business retention and expansion project surveys by co-ordinator Crystal Godbout;
•a tender for surface treatment;
•an amendment to an agreement for a water treatment plant engineering study;
•the Northwest Ontario Recycle Association interim financial statement as of Dec. 31, 2001;
•the Town of Rainy River termination notification re Northwest Ontario Recycle Association agreement;
•renewal of the Ministry of Natural Resources contract;
•a simplified risk assessment and smoke alarm program;
•Young Canada Works application;
•a report on the pool incident of Nov. 17, 2001;
•a report on the upcoming Superior International Junior Hockey League all-star game;
•an application for an engineering study of the old Fort Frances High School; and
•a report on the provision of water service to Alberton residents.