Group etching out district plan for ‘Tomorrow’

The “Tomorrow” committee will be training facilitators March 28 so they can gather public input for its second strategic plan.
But this time, it’s going to all residents of Rainy River District.
“We’re doing a new strategic plan for Fort Frances but more importantly, we’re doing a district-wide strategic plan,” explained committee chairman Jim Cumming, noting they learned from the public information sessions in 1994 that there were district implications to their process.
The committee has been making presentations to district councils to get their endorsement for a district strategic plan, as well as one for each community.
That will permit them to recruit volunteers from each community to gather input from citizens.
The committee is aiming to get about 60 facilitators trained for this part of the process, with Cumming hoping the public input sessions would be completed by June.
Anyone interested in becoming a facilitator for their community can call the Rainy River Future Development Corp. in Fort Frances at 274-5484.
“We’re going to do it much the same way [as 1994]. We’ll teach them how to go out and gather information, and ask people questions,” Cumming noted.
“Basically, we’re doing this to find out what the average person in the district . . . thinks should be happening in the district.”
The committee is hoping to put volunteers into teams, and have each team host two public sessions. That way, each volunteer is only committing about six hours, Cumming said.
Once the information is gathered, independent volunteers will take the information and compile it for each community.
“But they will also organize it into information for the district,” Cumming said.
Then in September, the “Tomorrow” committee will hold a day-long session and present seven or eight directions that should be followed. At that time, volunteers can select areas they would like to work on developing.
That way, Cumming said, the strategic plan would be community-driven rather than put together by a council or board.
And like the 1994 Tomorrow Strategic Action Plan, Cumming said this district-wide plan probably would be reviewed in about five years.
The Town of Fort Frances appoints seven people to the “Tomorrow” committee. But Cumming said funding for this project would come from the RRFDC.