Moffat Family Fund recipients to be announced tonight

By Ken Kellar
Staff writer

Plenty of money will be announced for local service groups and organizations as the town is set to announce this year’s Moffat Family Fund Grant recipients at tonight’s meeting of Fort Frances Town Council.

The announcement will kick off the Committee of the Whole meeting at the Fort Frances Civic Centre at 5:30 p.m., with Mayor June Caul to make the announcement. The Moffat Family Fund routinely sees thousands of dollars flow into the area from the Winnipeg-based organization. The 2022 Moffat Family Fund Grant will total $97,000 for the local area and those funds are targeted towards groups and organizations that “support and advance the economic, social, physical and intellectual well-being of children and families in the community,” per the Town’s website.

Fort Frances has been benefitting from the Moffat Family Fund since the turn of the millennium, following the entrusting of $100-million by the Randy Moffat family to the Winnipeg Foundation in 2001. Each year since, communities that were once served by the Moffat’s cable television business have been eligible to receive a portion of the interest generated by that initial investment.

Past recipients of the Moffat Family Fund Grant include KidSport Fort Frances, the local branch of the Salvation Army, Borderland Pride, the Northwestern Health Unit’s Nutrition on Weekends program, Riverside Foundation for Health Care, Sunset Water Sports and the Fort Frances Community Garden, among many others.

The town will also be deciding on a request from Safe Communities Rainy River district at tonight’s council meeting. The group had made a request of council in a letter dated June 20, 2022, asking that the town assist them with funding to allow the Safe Communities team to continue to provide different programming aimed at helping those in need and spreading awareness of drug misuse. The most recent Safe Communities request is for funding to the tune of a $0.95 per capita levy, which a report from Town treasurer Dawn Galusha noted would come to $7,092.70 based on the 2021 census values. The recommendation from Galusha instead suggests that the town provide support in line with an earlier request from Safe Communities with a $0.25 per capita levy that will amount to $1,866.50 based on the 2021 census values. The recommendation notes that council will be able to approve either value, or to deny the request outright should it so choose.

An itemized budget provided to the town by Safe Communities amounts to $14,700 across 15 different line items that include funds for various community projects such as Project Safe Halloween (Trunk or Treat), the Bicycle Safety Rodeo, Overdose Awareness Day, Chem Free Grad and a Car Seat Safety Awareness Clinic, among others.

“While much can be done by donation from the agencies involved in the team, resources grow thin from all sides, and the team cannot educate our young people on the dangers of drug abuse,” said the June request from the Safe Communities team, written by chair and co-chair Chad Buist and Joan MacLean.

“In closing, we just want to say that we hope that you will see the positive effects of having a dedicated group of individuals that are looking to keep the entire Rainy River District safe.”

Also on tonight’s agenda will be the awarding of an RFP for electrical work on the 52 Canadians Arena, the transitioning of Blue Box operations to Circular Materials Ontario, the approval of an updated terms of reference from the Museum Advisory Committee and the approval of an amendment to the site plan control agreement as a condition of development with the Northwest Catholic District School Board.

Tonight’s meeting of the town of Fort Frances council and administration is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Fort Frances Civic Centre. The meeting is open to in-person attendees, and a link to the virtual livestream is available at the Town of Fort Frances website.