Town getting extra funds for dealing with more bears

After receiving an unusually high number of bear calls this past summer and fall, the Town of Fort Frances will get a few more dollars out of its “Bear Wise” agreement with the Ministry of Natural Resources.
In a report from Rick Hallam, superintendent of the town’s Planning and Development division, council was reminded the town has an agreement with the MNR regarding nuisance bears and human/bear conflict management within the town limits.
Under this agreement, there is a mechanism whereby it can be amended if there are more than 60 bear calls in any particular year.
The town has responded to 105 calls regarding bear sightings so far in 2005.
As such, Hallam met with the MNR and negotiated an additional $7,500 over the $20,000 base amount of the original agreement.
The Planning and Development executive committee, with the recommendation of town staff, then agreed the amount was sufficient for the additional services provided and recommended council approve the amendment.
Council approved the amendment to the agreement to include the additional compensation, and directed that a bylaw be prepared amending Bylaw 12/05.
This will come forth at a future council meeting.
In other news from Monday night’s meeting, which was held a week early due to the Christmas holidays, council authorized the mayor and clerk to sign a letter of agreement between the town and the Trillium Foundation for a $25,000 grant for the Fort Frances Public Library.
The grant is to be used to promote literacy among elementary school students and teens by proving tutoring and homework help programs at the library.
The necessary bylaw approving this will be prepared for council vote at a future meeting.
Also Monday night, council:
•agreed to a recommendation of the Administration and Finance executive committee to authorize a payment of a donation of $100 to the Canadian Red Cross;
•agreed to a recommendation of the Administration and Finance executive committee to not support revisiting the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board apportionment as requested in a resolution received from the Township of Chapple;
•approved the purchase card expenses of Mayor Dan Onichuk for September and October totalling $831.55; and
•agreed the capital outlay amounts, identified by BDO Dunwoody on Dec. 31, 2004, be transferred to reserve funds (these total $128,656.81).

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