Town seeking budget input

Duane Hicks

With town council and administration poised to start working on the 2018 budget this fall, the public is being asked to provide input as to what they’d like to see included.
They’ll get the opportunity to make presentations at the next council meeting set for Monday, Sept. 25, Fort Frances CAO Doug Brown said during Monday night’s meeting.
“We’re starting the process again in earnest,” he noted. “It usually starts on Jan. 1 but we get public input right away.
“We want their input on the budget process,” Brown stressed.
As in past years, this input could include almost anything, ranging from support for a community event, suggestions for improvements to town-owned facilities and programming, or even a new project that would benefit the community, such as a spray park.
Residents interested in presenting a budget idea to council must contact town clerk Lisa Slomke prior to noon next Thursday (Sept. 21) to be placed on the agenda.
If they do not wish to present their ideas in person, they can submit written ideas by the same deadline.
Deputations are permitted to be 10 minutes in length (council asks that a written copy of the presentation be submitted to the clerk).
Council approved the 2018 budget timetable at Monday night’s meeting.
After the Sept. 25 meeting, the executive committees will review the information received at the public meeting, as well as review the various division budgets and recommendations.
Deputy treasurer Dawn Galusha is expected to consolidate the budget by Dec. 30.
It will undergo a review by administration in early January, with the committee of the whole set to receive a preliminary budget Jan. 8.
It then will be reviewed in the months to follow by administration and a special committee of the whole, with it tentatively being put to council April 2 for ratification.
A second public meeting is slated for April 23, at which time the 2018 budget is anticipated to be passed by council.
Also at Monday night’s meeting, council:
•endorsed an arrangement with the Fort Frances High School Hockey Academy to operate at the Memorial Sports Centre, with a memorandum of understanding forthcoming;
•awarded Tender 17-OF-11 to Nortrax Canada of Thunder Bay for a new wheeled excavator, with a purchase price of $295,924.40 after trade-in and taxes, and further that the mayor and clerk be authorized to enter into a purchase agreement;
•agreed to finalize a site plan agreement with Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board for an eight-plex apartment building at 1301 Elizabeth St.;
•agreed to finalize a site plan agreement with 4 High Street Inc. (Great Canadian Oil Change) for a new business at 850 King’s Highway;
•approved per diem and travel expense claims, in the total amount of $2,267.33, as submitted by Mayor Roy Avis for his attendance at the AMO conference held Aug. 12-17 in Ottawa; and
•approved per diem and travel expense claims, in the total amount of $2,438.98, as submitted by Coun. Paul Ryan for his attendance at the same AMO conference.