‘Re-Inventing’ group not rushing tender decision

The “Re-Inventing Fort Frances” committee is continuing to review the five tenders for consultants after its most recent meeting last Thursday.
“We’re still in the search for a consultant,” committee chair Janis Lesko said. “But we’re not really on a deadline.”
She noted the five tenders that came in were all within the up to $150,000 budget the group was pitching when asking for funding from the Town of Fort Frances, Rainy River Future Development Corp., the provincial and federal governments, and groups like the local Chamber of Commerce and Business Improvement Area.
“I can’t say anything specific at this point but they’re all relatively close. And there’s lot of good material to go through here,” Lesko said.
“We’re very focused on this. We want to get through it fastidiously, take a good look at the information. We want to make the right decision,” she stressed.
Meanwhile, the status of two major sources of potential funding—the provincial and federal governments—is moving forward.
“We’ve had a verbal confirmation from FedNor,” committee member Sue Bodnarchuk said.
“But we haven’t heard from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp. yet. Nobody seems to know exactly how long they take,” she added.
Bodnarchuk added the latter application was in the Stage Two phase, meaning the province has “everything they need from us.”
“It’s just a matter of going through their channels and getting back to us,” she said.
Once retained, the consultant will conduct a feasibility study to see how the committee’s plan to promote tourism and boost the local economy could work.
Aspects of the “Re-Inventing Fort Frances” plan include altering traffic flow to promote local businesses, turning the old Fort Frances High School into a market area with a park and amphitheatre, erecting a large Mountie statue, creating a “fort-like” gateway at the border, and much more.
The committee still is looking for public input to help in discussions with the consultant. People can drop off suggestions in the box located at the Rainy Lake Hotel.