Town giving Lakers a few breaks


Christmas came early for the Fort Frances Lakers when town council last night agreed to grant a handful of concessions for the fledgling Junior ‘A’ hockey team this season.
These considerations include:
•resident youth ice rental rate;
•pool/fitness centre student membership rates less 20 percent;
•ice painting at no charge; and
•advertising on the north wall of the arena at no charge.
As well, council will give the team a 20 percent reduction on resident non-prime ice rental rate, up to a maximum of $2,000.
This amounts to a subsidy of $20/hour for practice time, which will be taken out of council’s public relations fund.
While the first four considerations are basically the same as what the town did for the now defunct Fort Frances Jr. Sabres, Coun. Sharon Tibbs noted council agreed to also provide the $20/hour subsidy for practice time, which they did not give to the Jr. Sabres.
Extra consideration was given to the Lakers based on the fact they are a community-based, non-profit organization and not a private enterprise like the Jr. Sabres were.
“[But] this is a one-time only subsidy to try and give them some help in getting their venture underway,” Coun. Tibbs clarified.
Also at last night’s meeting, council:
•passed a bylaw to approve the 2010 user fee schedule (as previously reported, this means an increase of two percent for nearly all fees, with the exception of a couple of fees, such as bag tags which are going up to $2 from $1.75);
•received a report on the preliminary 2010 operating and capital budgets, which indicated an estimated operating shortfall of $409,731 (semi-monthly budget meetings will begin Jan. 18);
•passed a bylaw regulating fences in the Town of Fort Frances, which includes changes to the maximum height of hedges and the definitions of controlled/uncontrolled intersections, among other things;
•passed a bylaw to authorize temporary borrowing in the amount of $4 million to meet current expenditures of the corporation for the year 2010 (this is standard practice at the beginning of any budget year);
•passed a bylaw for the purpose of approving the minutes of current council;
•received an invitation from the Ministry of Natural Resources re: a review of an approved minor amendment to the 2007-17 Forest Management Plan for the Crossroute Forest; and
•agreed to permit Mayor Roy Avis and Couns. John Albanese, Andrew Hallikas, Ken Perry, Paul Ryan, and Rick Wiedenhoeft to attend an Association of Municipalities of Ontario training session Jan. 26 in Thunder Bay.