Town hopeful of more square funding

Duane Hicks

The town is keeping its fingers crossed more funding will come through for the Rainy Lake Market Square redevelopment in downtown Fort Frances.
As reported last month, the town learned it got $997,500 from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp. But it will need a federal funding component of $650,000 to come through in order to have enough money to go ahead with the $1.9-million project.
“We’re awaiting the federal government’s analysis of the application for the Rainy Lake Hotel,” Rainy River Future Development Corp. consultant Tannis Drysdale told council last night in response to a question from Mayor Roy Avis.
“We hear feedback from the consultants in a positive way,” she added.
“Certainly it was very helpful that yourself, Mayor Avis, contacted FedNor and helped to move that file forward.”
In addition to the provincial and federal shares, the town and local BIA together will be contributing about $300,000 in real and in-kind expenditures.
The first stage of the project will entail taking down the old hotel and preparing the site—but not eliminating the history of the local landmark.
Whatever is going to be built will be in the spirit and honour of the historic hotel.
The second stage then will involve redeveloping the property into a market square.
This will include a farmers’ market and pull-through traffic parking for larger vehicles, such as tourists with boats and trailers.
The square also would feature indoor and outdoor market space for vendors, with the latter being a building to house them from the elements.
In related news, council last night referred a request from the Rainy River District Stewardship, to partner in the development of the Rainy Lake Market Square, to the Administration and Finance executive committee for its recommendation, with input from Planning and Development and Operations and Facilities executive committees.
The stewardship wants to give up to $5,000 towards the project for bike racks, landscaping, and other environmentally-themed aspects of the project, in return for having its name displayed as a contributor on a plaque at the finished site.
Also at last night’s regular meeting, council:
•heard a presentation from Kendall Richardson, who gave council a petition—on behalf of certain east-end home owners—in support of the investigation and fixing of sewer issues in the neighbourhood south of Scott Street and east of the Sorting Gap Marina;
•agreed to reschedule a presentation by the advocacy group, Senior Retirees Against Pension and Elder Abuse, to a future meeting so that it would have adequate time on the agenda to speak to its chosen issues;
•referred a request from Sean Ahrens, re: joining certain properties, to the Planning and Development executive committee for its recommendation;
•referred a letter from T. Parks, re: fencing issues, to the Planning and Development executive committee for its recommendation;
•approved a joint request from the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care to proclaim Oct. 29 as “Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day” in the Town of Fort Frances;
•approved a request from the Association des francophones du Nord-Ouest de l’Ontario to proclaim Sept. 25 as “Franco-Ontarian Day” in the Town of Fort Frances;
•passed a bylaw to approve an employment agreement with Dawn Galusha as deputy treasurer for the Town of Fort Frances; and
•passed a bylaw to rescind Bylaw 14/14 (a bylaw previously passed to submit a question to the electors of the Town of Fort Frances in the 2014 municipal election).