‘Re-Inventing’ unveils plans for Phase I projects

While the “Re-Inventing Fort Frances” committee made a request Monday night for $80,000 from the town to help cover the cost of Phase I of its plans, much more is in the pipeline down the road.
“We’re looking to get something in place for the centennial [year],” committee chair Sue Bodnarchuk said Tuesday.
“We want to get a start on Phase I. We want bridge enhancements, a mural on the ‘lap’ building, welcome signs, and ‘wayfinding’ signs for the current gateway area,” she added.
“But we also have other plans that we may not be able to do for another year, or several years, from now.”
The first part of Phase I includes a mural on the “lap” building with a fur trade and fort theme, signage, and landscaping, including medians with planters.
This could cost up to $645,000.
But future plans include an extensive overhaul of the 200 block of Church Street, which is estimated at a cost of $5.5-million.
This would include realigning the road, a forest display for a “visual buffer” beside the mill, a lake sculpture diorama, reopening the tourist centre at a new location incorporating an Ontario Visitor Centre and Canada Discovery Centre (adding attractions to it in the process), provide more parking for tourists, and create a direct walking link to the downtown area.
These projects, like the current feasibility study, would require funding from the town, the province, and the federal government to succeed.
With a draft study to be completed by the end of January, a second “Re-Inventing Fort Frances” public open house is slated for early in the New Year.
This will provide a more detailed, overall look at what the group hopes to do, and will include input from stakeholders such as Abitibi-Consolidated.