Senior Centre receives funding to expand

By Merna Emara
Staff Writer
memara@fortfrances.com

On Nov. 1, the Town of Fort Frances received $466,125 in funding from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) towards the expansion of the Fort Frances Senior Centre.

Aaron Bisson, recreation and culture manager, wrote in a report to the Community Services Executive Committee the total cost of the project is $621,500. The funding will cover 75 per cent of the total cost.

In early 2021, Bisson said he had submitted an application to the NOHFC under the Community Enhancement Program (Rural Enhancement Stream) for an expansion to the Fort Frances Senior Centre.

Amongst its objectives, the NOHFC aims to promote economic initiatives in northern Ontario.

The project description in the application states that the anticipated addition to the building would be 1,800 sq. ft.

The purpose of the expansion is to mitigate current issues with space and help the municipality offer programs that support the health and wellness of its aging population.

Coun. Andrew Hallikas said this is good news.

“We’ve been fortunate in getting some very good grants, including the grant to bring the arena up to speed,” Hallikas said. “And this grant for the Sister Kennedy Centre is just amazing.”

Fort Frances Mayor June Caul said Bisson has taken the initiative to move forward with some of the funding that the town needed in every aspect whether it’s the Senior Centre or the arena.

“[Bisson has] really done a good job in initiating that kind of thing to be moving forward,” Caul said.

Bisson recommended that council approves the town entering into a Transfer Payment Agreement with the NOHFC under the Community Enhancement Program (Rural Enhancement Stream), and that an authorizing bylaw be prepared to allow the mayor and clerk to execute the agreement on behalf of the corporation.