No one on agenda for budget meeting

As town council, administration, and management kick off the 2005 budget process, a public meeting slated for tonight at the Civic Centre looks like it will be a quiet affair.
No individual or group contacted the town clerk to get on the agenda and speak on what they want to see in the budget.
“I haven’t heard anything, I haven’t seen anything,” Glenn Treftlin said this morning. “Nothing at all.
“It’s hard to say. Maybe people will show up tonight,” he added. “If there’s someone who does show up, they’ll get their chance to speak.
“But it’d be nice if someone had planned to come to let us know in advance so we could have followed procedure and arranged a time slot.”
Anyone interested in giving input on the 2005 budget is welcome to attend tonight’s meeting, which is scheduled to start around 6:50 p.m. at the Civic Centre.
A maximum of 10 minutes will be allotted per presentation, with more time possibly permitted if a group has more two or more representatives who want to speak, said Treftlin.
He noted the public was given due notice, as the town started putting ads in the newspaper two weeks ago. An article regarding the meeting also appeared in last Wednesday’s Times.
If no public input is given at tonight’s meeting, another meeting will not be scheduled and the town will continue with the budget process, said Treftlin.
The next public meeting regarding the budget won’t be held until Jan. 10, 2005, at which time council is expected to explain the budget and subsequently pass it as a bylaw.
According to the timetable approved by council at its Sept. 13 meeting, the next step after tonight’s meeting will be for the executive committees to review the information received at various meetings during the week of Oct. 4-8.
The executive committees then will review the respective division budgets and recommendations from management in a series of meetings Oct. 18-22.
By Oct. 29, administration will present documents to Treasurer Peggy Dupuis, who then will make a draft budget, which will be reviewed by the committee of the whole at a series of meetings through November and early December.
The timetable notes the 2005 budget should come before council for ratification at its Dec. 20 meeting.
As mentioned above, a public meeting then is slated for Jan. 10, at which time council may pass it as a bylaw.
Tonight’s public meeting on the budget will be preceded by the committee of the whole meeting at 5:30 p.m.
Other business at tonight’s council meeting will include:
•a bylaw to assume, stop up, and close the lane abutting the west side of 1022 Third St. E.;
•a request from John Ossachuk regarding the construction of a portable storage building on property next to 928 Shevlin Ave.;
•a request from Pastor Stephen J. Laing for consideration of alternate options regarding a site plan agreement for a new church;
•a report recommending the Street Lights Inspections Committee be combined with the Traffic safety Committee;
•recommendations regarding previous requests from the Valley Adult Learning Association, David’s Deli, Northwestern Ontario Crime Stoppers, and the Recreation Advisory Committee;
•a recommendation from the Economic Development Advisory Committee regarding the “gateway” banner concept the Town of Fort Frances should choose for that project;
•a recommendation from the Economic Development Advisory Committee that the Rainy River Future Development Corp. investigate updating websites for the purposes of marketing Fort Frances;
•a joint request from the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care to proclaim Oct. 27 as “Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day”; and
•a request from Family and Children’s Services proclaiming October, 2004 as “Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month.”