Move ‘Hallett,’ Lookout Tower to parkway: study

Relocating the “Hallett” and Lookout Tower at Pither’s Point to the La Verendrye Parkway (Front Street) was one of the suggestions contained in a heritage tourism study presented to town council at Monday night’s meeting.
Jeff Frank, of the consultants Hilderman Thomas Frank and Cram, said the recommendation was based on the fact the town has spent considerable funds on developing the waterfront, which was completed last summer, and that it only would make sense to tie in any attractions, such as the “Hallett” and tower, to the parkway.
Such enhancements also would tie into the theme of the “river,” which along with “forest,” should be the focus of any future tourist attractions here, said Frank.
He added more signage and exhibits should be added to the waterfront, too.
Franks also said the museum on Scott Street not only should be upgraded to health and safety standards, but expanded to include more programming and exhibits.
This could mean adding onto the current building until it reaches the sidewalk (instead of remaining recessed from the street as it is now).
And to better tie the museum to the parkway, banners and signage should be utilized to direct people between the two—and maybe even have a path running from the riverfront down Church Street and into a rear entrance to the museum.
Other suggestions included creating a joint strategy with other regional museums, such as the Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung Historical Centre (Manitou Mounds) and ones over in International Falls, for promotion.
Frank also noted the operational structure of the museum should be altered, as currently curator Pam Hawley does “everything,” he remarked.
Instead, some of her administrative duties should be shifted to town administration while others, such as promotion, should be included in the work the town’s economic development officer.
This would leave the curator to devote more time to actually work on exhibits and such.
And finally, Frank said a museum foundation should be struck for the purpose of fundraising and developing an endowment fund.
Council referred the study to the Community Services executive committee for a recommendation.
The heritage tourism study cost roughly $25,000, with the bill split between the province and the town. The town’s half came from museum reserves.
Work on the study began late last year.
Also at Monday night’s meeting, council:
•received a presentation by local resident Tim Woods regarding activities for “Gateway International Fitness Test”—an event he’s proposing to organize here either this August or August, 2005;
•approved a request for a break-open ticket licence application from the Fort Frances Aquanauts Swim Club at Rainy Lake Sports and Tackle from March 13-Sept. 12, 2004;
•agreed to a request from The Easter Seals Society to proclaim March as “Easter Seals Month” in Fort Frances;
•agreed to a request from Coun. Tannis Drysdale to proclaim Monday, March 8 as “International Women’s Day” in Fort Frances;
•agreed to a request from the Township of Morley to support its resolution to ask the Northwestern Health Unit not spend any more money it receives from municipalities towards appealing a ruling on a smoking ban;
•referred a request from the Township of Horton for support of its resolution regarding amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act to the Operations and Facilities executive committee for a recommendation;
•referred a request from the City of Sarnia for support of its resolution regarding gas tax rebate to the Administration and Finance executive committee for a recommendation; and
•referred a request from the City of Cornwall for support of its resolution regarding the need for stronger legislation on motorized wheelchairs and scooters upon city streets and sidewalks to the Planning and Development executive committee for a recommendation.
(Fort Frances Daily Bulletin)