Town gives input on school board budget

In response to a letter from the Rainy River District School Board, the Town of Fort Frances put together a list of items it would like to see in the public school’s board 2005-06 budget.
The report, approved by council at its regular meeting Monday night, included input from three of the town’s four executive committees.
The Community Services executive committee is seeking a partnership in the construction of tennis courts at the St. Francis Sportsfields. This would be at an estimated cost of $100,000 per tennis court.
Meanwhile, the Planning and Development executive committee recommended the school board include funding in its 2005-06 budget for OPP presence in the schools, doctor recruitment, and school crossing guards.
And the Operations and Facilities executive committee requested the school board share costs with regards to school crossing guards, as well as pay for 50 percent of the costs for maintaining and operating the pedestrian crosswalk on King’s Highway by McDonald’s Restaurant.
The latter would be about $800 annually.
The Administration and Finance executive committee gave no input.
In other news from Monday night’s meeting, council agreed to revise its employee recognition policy, so that all town employees of 25 years now will receive a commemorative watch purchased by the corporation and presented to them at the town’s annual appreciation dinner.
Previously, the policy only recognized “continuous full-time employees” and these recipients got a $500 gift certificate to buy a “25-year commemorative ring or other jewellery with similar value” from Brockie’s Jewellers.
The first change was made to eliminate any dispute between full-time, part-time, and seasonal status of employees while the second was to take the emphasis off the dollar value of the gift and avoiding dealing exclusively with one local jeweller.
Also Monday night, council:
•agreed to pay $550 to renew the town’s “Communities in Bloom” membership, as well as allocate up to $1,000 to accommodate contest judges when they come here later this summer (this money comes from council’s public relations budget);
•authorized the mayor and clerk to sign a Trillium Fund application from the Fort Frances Public Library for a literacy program in the amount of $25,000;
•authorized the mayor and clerk to sign several funding applications for the museum renovations planned here;
•authorized Sidewalks Plus to complete the sidewalk joint repairs for 2005;
•authorized Fire Chief Steve Richardson, the town’s emergency measures co-ordinator, to make the necessary changes to the town’s emergency plan in order to allow Fort Frances to accept evacuees from Atikokan, and then establish a memorandum of understanding with that municipality so that Fort Frances can receive evacuees if the need arises;
•authorized the payment of $2,371 for the CAO’s expenses incurred while attending the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference in Newfoundland;
•approved the 2005 review of the town’s Health and Safety Policy;
•authorized the proceeds from the annual police auction to go to the local Community Policing Committee to put on a summer camp in 2006;
•agreed to authorize the renewal of the town’s group benefits with Sun Life and Maritime Life;
•declined a request from the Khartum Shriners to place an advertisement in the Khartum Khronicle 100th anniversary publication; and
•passed a resolution in support of a motion from United Steelworkers Local 1330 to lobby all levels of government to help ensure Northern Ontario does not see any more lumber, paper, and pulp mill closures.