‘Re-Inventing’ consultant contract up for vote

The “Re-Inventing Fort Frances” committee is asking town council to award a contract Monday night to consulting firm Hilderman, Thomas, Frank and Cram (HTFC).
The job of the Winnipeg-based consultants, if selected, would be to conduct a feasibility study regarding aspects of the “Re-Inventing” project, which includes everything from promoting the downtown core to possibly using the old Fort High property for a number of uses.
Should council agree to award the contract, HTFC would be under contract starting May 1 and be so until the study is completed, which must be no later than Oct. 30, 2002.
The consulting fee is $108,712 (including GST). This would be paid in part by the town as well as other local contributors, including the Chamber of Commerce, Business Improvement Area (BIA), and Rainy River Future Development Corp., as well as the provincial and federal governments.
The “Re-Inventing” committee decided to recommend HTFC for the job at its April 15 meeting.
But also at that meeting, CAO Bill Naturkach, who represents the town on the “Re-Inventing” committee along with Mayor Glenn Witherspoon, expressed concerns regarding:
•the status of federal and provincial funding matters;
•council’s inability to award a contract in absence of clarification regarding said funding matters; and
•the fact the negotiated contract does not include specific language incorporating the request for proposal and HTFC proposal into the negotiated contract.
At that time, Mayor Witherspoon and Naturkach agreed to have town administration look into clarifying the funding matter, including available options in case the current provincial labour dispute could delay funding.
The committee also agreed to go back to HTFC for written clarification that the RFP and HTFC proposal are, in fact, part of the contract.
If council ratifies the recommendation tonight, letters will be sent immediately to each of the four unsuccessful respondents to the RFP.
Other business on the agenda Monday includes:
•a presentation by Pam Hawley, chair of the Fort Frances Centennial Celebration advisory committee, on events being planned for the 2003 centennial;
•a letter from the Rainy River District School Board regarding an outstanding balance on town payments towards the Townshend Theatre;
•a request for financial support from the local Business Women’s Network re its fourth-annual Easter Seals Charity fundraiser;
•the 2001 year-end report from Fort Frances Fire and Rescue;
•a request from the Kenora-Rainy River District Palliative Care Volunteer Program to proclaim May 6-12 as National Hospice Palliative Care Week in Fort Frances;
•an update on upgrades at the Fort Frances OPP station;
•a report on local improvement projects for 2002;
•the Memorial Sports Centre canteen contract;
•an update on the Town of Fort Frances Web site;
•a report of mayor, council, and economic development commission expenses for the period ending March 31, 2002;
•an update on airport liability insurance and changes to the Bearskin Airlines flight schedule; and
•five bylaws, including two to authorize the construction of certain new replacement sidewalks pursuant to the Local Improvement Act.
Tonight’s council meeting is scheduled to start at 6:35 p.m. at the Civic Centre, with the committee of the whole to meet first downstairs at 5.