Organization proposing to take over clinic

A non-profit organization is offering a possible solution to the doctor shortage here, with town council passing a resolution at its regular meeting last night in support of the proposal in principle.
The Group Health Association of Sault Ste. Marie has submitted a proposal to the Town of Fort Frances to take over management of the Fort Frances Clinic, and is asking for the town’s financial support in purchasing the clinic, said Mayor Dan Onichuk.
Based on the model similar to the one described by Jim Neufeld, clinic administrator of the Wiebe Medical Centre in Winkler, Man., during a presentation to town council here back in March, this clinic would see doctors rent space at the building and practice, but not be required to be managers there or be part of a corporation, noted Mayor Onichuk.
Given the importance of the proposal, which only has been discussed by council in-camera (behind closed doors) in recent months, council last night directed Clerk Glenn Treftlin to schedule a meeting in the near future to inform the public about it as well as get local residents’ input on the issue prior to any further consideration by council.
Also at last night’s meeting, two speakers made presentations to council with regards to the 2006 budget.
Chamber of Commerce president Gary Rogozinski said he would like to see its fee-for-service for marketing activities increase from the present $6,000 to $7,500.
Meanwhile, local resident Melvin Haukaas asked the town to pay for the replacement of sidewalks on First Street East and King’s Highway as a capital expenditure and not a local improvement (which requires property owners to pay half the cost).
In other business at last night’s meeting, council:
•agreed to go ahead with an audit of mayor and council expenses, as per the recommendation of the Administration and Finance executive committee;
•appointed Gord McBride to fill a vacancy on the Economic Development Advisory Committee for the term ending Nov. 30, 2006;
•had a hearing regarding property assessment changes at 1204 Third St. E., 507 Armit Ave., and 706 Armit Ave.;
•referred an invoice from the Rainy River Future Development Corp., regarding Town of Fort Frances project expenses, to the Administration and Finance executive committee for further discussion;
•referred a memo dated Sept. 22, 2005 from Clerk Treftlin regarding the relocation of the Fort Frances Bingo Hall to the Planning and Development executive committee for a recommendation; and
•passed a bylaw to approve an agreement with Skates & Blades Inc. for the operation of a skate-sharpening shop in the Memorial Sports Centre.