Downtown core report to be unveiled Mill manager also to speak to council

Comprised of 13 members representing various local groups, the Downtown Core Committee has met over the past year to devise a report addressing how to revitalize downtown Fort Frances.
And that committee will officially deliver its recommendations at Monday night’s council meeting.
The Downtown Core Committee, created as a working body under the Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC), “is an initiative to get the downtown core moving,” committee member Patti-Jo Reid explained Monday morning.
The committee, consisting of members of the EDAC, the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce, Business Improvement Association, Abitibi-Consolidated, Re-Inventing Fort Frances, and the Rainy River Future Development Corp., met from January through October to discuss pertinent issues and formulate possible solutions to problems.
“It was really about getting people of like minds together,” said Reid. “We all deal with these issues all the time.
“This was about us just sitting down at the table and saying, ‘This is what we really need. There’s other things that would be wonderful. But this needs to happen in order that our town goes forward, becomes very progressive,’” she added.
“The report contains a number of recommendations. It’s a wish list, if you wanted to give it another name.”
Reid said they used some of the studies that already have been done in Fort Frances, rather than commissioning a new one.
“We didn’t reinvent the wheel,” she remarked. “We took those studies and discussed them and came up with some recommendations concerning signage, parking, traffic flow, downtown core branding and its issues, the library, the museum, tourist information, all those sorts of things.”
While Monday night is the official presentation of the report, council was given it in advance late last month in order to give councillors time to digest the material and formulate questions, added Reid.
Council also will be receiving letters of support for the Downtown Core Committee report from the Chamber, Re-Inventing Fort Frances committee, Abitibi-Consolidated, the BIA, and RRFDC tonight.
Another speaker at Monday night’s council meeting will be John Harrison, general manager at the Abitibi-Consolidated pulp and paper operation here, who will speak about the mill’s current financial situation.
There also will be a presentation by Jim Kibiuk, president and CEO of the Fort Frances Power Corp., regarding its “Get the L.E.D. Out” program.
The council meeting is scheduled to start at 6:50 p.m. It will be preceded by the committee of the whole at 5:30, which is expected to be in-camera until 6:05.
Other business at Monday night’s council meeting includes:
•a report on the proposed new library site;
•Mayor Dan Onichuk’s appointments to the executive committees for the year ahead;
•discussion of whether the town will give one free Type ‘A’ garbage container next year to residential and multi-residential establishments with three-six self-contained living units;
•a letter of resignation from treasurer Peggy Dupuis;
•a bylaw to appoint a deputy treasurer for the Corporation of the Town of Fort Frances.
•a letter of resignation from Planning Advisory committee member David Lovisa; and
•a request from the Fort Frances Women’s and Girls’ Hockey Association for financial sponsorship of their eighth-annual hockey tournament here.

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