Town may nix FFCBC financial request

Duane Hicks

A $5,284 financial request from the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship to offset arena rental charges may not get included in the 2012 town budget, according to some members of council.
At a budget meeting Monday afternoon, Coun. Ken Perry said the town is facing tough times, and some programs and events that have come to council in the past are going to have to “carry their own weight.”
Coun. Paul Ryan agreed, noting the FFCBC has come to the town before when they were not “in the black,” as they are now, and council has given them grants on two occasions to bail them out of an emergency in the 11th hour.
“Now, I feel over time, we’re getting closer and closer to this council running this thing,” he added.
“If we grant something this year . . . then it will be expected of us next year, and it just goes on and on.”
Mayor Roy Avis said he’d like council to support the bass tournament in other ways, such as by helping it land provincial or federal grants.
He added council could give the FFCBC $5,000 out of the budget, but they really should look at all other avenues first.
“I think under normal circumstances, none of us around this table would hesitate in helping them out . . . but these are extraordinary times,” agreed Coun. Rick Wiedenhoeft.
Council already has agreed to aid the FFCBC in several other ways, just as it has in the past.
At its Jan. 9 meeting, council agreed:
•that the mayor designate the FFCBC live-release tournament as a “significant community festival event” and declare “Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship Week” commencing July 23, 2012;
•to offer in-kind services, such as the use of picnic tables, line painting for parking at the Shevlin wood yard, waiving launch fees for anglers during the tournament, authorizing FFCBC officials to use the Sand Bay dock as a morning start site and check-in station throughout the tourney, and authorizing the temporary installation of flags and poles near the launch ramp; and
•to encourage the FFCBC committee to apply for available funding for significant community events.