Fort St. Pierre to be demolished

After being gutted last fall, Fort St. Pierre truly will meet its end this summer as it’s now slated for demolition following Monday night’s council meeting.
Council approved a report which recommended the fort be destroyed—and gave the thumbs up to its demise.
“We did an engineering study last spring, which told us it was beyond repair,” Fort Frances Museum curator Pam Hawley said yesterday.
“We thought we could save at least the outer walls, but it doesn’t look that way,” she added.
A follow-up report by engineers showed the cost of replacing the structurally-inadequate palisades would be too costly compared to the cost of demolition.
The work—which will happen “shortly,” said Hawley—will entail demolishing the fort, burning it by the fire department, and removal of the debris and landscaping the area.
“It should be some kind of bonfire,” noted Hawley.
The total cost of the project will be about $4,500.
But another fort, or some other tourist attraction, may be erected at the same site or elsewhere at Pither’s Point as the town has landed funding from the Ministry of Culture for a heritage tourism study.
“It’s a feasibility study to see what we can do with the sites at Pither’s Point,” said Hawley, also noting the fate of the Lookout Tower, which was declared off-limits due to safety reasons last spring, has yet to be decided.
“We’ve thought about constructing a replica of the fort in the future, so it’s something we might see returning,” she added.
This study is estimated to cost $25,000, with the cost split between the province and the town. The town’s half of the costs would come from the museum reserves.
This study will go out to tender shortly.
Also at Monday night’s meeting, council:
•referred an offer by George Armstrong Co. Ltd. to complete construction on Front Street, from Victoria Avenue to Minnie Avenue, to be discussed at a special budget meeting of the committee of the whole this Monday (April 21) at 5 p.m.;
•authorized Fire Chief Steve Richardson to proceed in offering surrounding communities an opportunity for resource sharing in the area of emergency planning;
•amended Bylaw No. 38/02 (which bans smoking in all municipal buildings) to see fines for violations set at $125 per individual and $200 per group;
•accepted Carol Barrels’ proposal for contract renewal for canteen services at the Memorial Sports Centre, and authorize a new three-year agreement for bylaw (this bylaw will be up for approval at a future council meeting);
•authorized the addition of overhead signage at the Scott Street-Central Avenue intersection, in response to a letter of concern from Donald Clink;
•authorized a five percent increase to hourly rates for Public Works vehicle and equipment, to be effective May 1, 2003;
•passed a motion to support keeping the federal electoral boundary for the Kenora-Rainy River riding as it is, as per the petition issued by the Township of Alberton;
•awarded the tender for 328 Scott St. to Elizabeth Francis Paleczny for $10,500 and passed the transaction as a bylaw; and
•authorized June 23 to be the council meeting date at which appreciation certificates will b presented to the donors of 20 trees, a bench, the installation of a mermaid sculpture, and a new “big chair” (all of which are part of either the La Verendrye Parkway project or centennial celebrations).