Town asked to include crossing guards in budget

FORT FRANCES—The Town of Fort Frances ended up getting some input on its 2007 budget process after all as local resident and parent Leslie Danielson spoke to council Monday night of the need for crossing guards here.
Danielson, who had a letter to the editor published in last week’s Times, said she wants to see the town hire crossing guards to monitor school children having to cross the highway.
Danielson said she did research on how much other municipalities are spending on crossing guards, and found:
•Emo spends $8,000 a year on one crossing guard, as well as $200 every five years for new signs and vests;
•Thunder Bay has 52 full-time and eight spare crossing guards, which are paid $12.14/hour (they also pay special costs for equipment such as huts, signs, and vests);
•Kenora hires eight guards for an annual cost of $55,000; and
•Dryden has five crossing guards, who are paid $14/hour.
In response to a question from Coun. John Albanese, Danielson said she has talked to the local public school board about crossing guards, but they informed her that the municipality is responsible for hiring them.
Coun. Rick Wiedenhoeft noted he did a study of the need for traffic guards last year and got very little response from the public.
That’s the reason why council, at that time, decided to do away with the one remaining crossing guard it had (who monitored students crossing the intersection at Scott Street and Crowe Avenue).
But Danielson said she has talked to other parents, who also show concern for the lack of crossing guards.
Unfortunately, she did not have time to draw up a petition or list of names in time for Monday night’s meeting.
She added that she’s not looking for crossing guards just at her son’s school (J.W. Walker). “I’d like to have crossing guards for all the kids,” Danielson stressed.
CAO Mark McCaig told Danielson that her request, and the information she submitted to council, will be reviewed by the four executive committees as part of the 2007 budget process.
According to the town’s budget timetable, the 2007 municipal budget should come before council for ratification at its Feb. 26 meeting.
A public meeting then is slated for March 12, 2007, at which time council is expected to explain the budget and subsequently pass it as a bylaw at its March 26 meeting.
Also at Monday night’s meeting, council:
•passed a bylaw approving an agreement with Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc. for financing of capital and operations of Rainycrest Home for the Aged;
•passed a bylaw to amend Bylaw 21/94—a bylaw to establish specific boards and committees of council (this is to extend the term of appointments to the advisory committees to four years);
•passed a bylaw to approve a contract with Atlis Geomatics Inc. for aerial mapping services;
•approved an application for reconsideration of assessment and adjustment of taxes for the period of Jan. 5, 2006-Dec. 31, 2006 for property located at 315 Minnie Ave.;
•received division activity reports from chairpersons of the Administration and Finance and Community Services executive committees (Couns. Roy Avis and Tannis Drysdale, respectively);
•referred a letter from John Myers of McDonald’s Restaurant regarding a plugged sewer call-out to McDonald’s Restaurant to the Operations and Facilities executive committee for its recommendation; and
•approved a request from the District of Kenora Home for the Aged and Kenora-Rainy River District Palliative Care Volunteer Program to proclaim Oct. 7, 2006 as “World Hospice Day” and Oct. 7-14, 2006 as “Hospice Awareness Week” in the Town of Fort Frances.
(Fort Frances Daily Bulletin)