Town approves Sunny Cove repair funds


Fort Frances town council is moving ahead with plans to rehabilitate Sunny Cove Camp, by approving an unbudgeted capital expenditure of $215,000, to put towards the repair of Russell Hall.

The Town has applied for a Northern Ontario Heritage Fund grant, which could award the project up to $500,000 to cover the repair expenses. The project has been approved at the Phase 1 level, and has moved into Phase 2. That phase requires that the municipality approve to at least 25 per cent of the costs of the project, plus a commitment to cover any cost overruns.

That spending — $165,000 for the town’s portion of the project, plus $50,000 to cover ineligible funds — was approved unanimously in the regular council meeting last night.

According to an administrative report, the NOHFC grant — if approved — would come from the Community Enhancement Program – Rural Enhancement Fund with the goal of bringing the property to “an adequate operational capacity.”

Sunny Cove Camp has sat unused and largely unmaintained since the summer of 2019. During that time, “the quality and structural soundness of facilities on site have greatly deteriorated,” noted the report.

Five courses of logs on Russell Hall are showing signs of rot, as well as a carpenter ant infestation. Several paved pathways have deteriorated, and fallen crees are blocking some access points.

A cost estimate of the repairs to Russell Hall are assessed at above $480,000. The work would go to a Request for Proposal, and be awarded as a contract.

The schedule for funding would look to have the RFP funded as a 2023 unbudgeted Capital Expenditure and the remainder of the project costs introduced to the 2024 Capital Budget, according to the report.