Town seeking grant for waterfront development

Fort Frances will be requesting $2.4 million from the province after the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp.’s Northern Communities Capital Assistance program was announced earlier this month.
Community Services manager George Bell said at Monday night’s committee of the whole of council meeting that the town will be applying for the money to fund phase two of the “La Verendrye Scenic Parkway Centennial” waterfront development project.
“We have an excellent opportunity to make this funding apply to our project, and timing is very important,” noted Mayor Glenn Witherspoon. “We have to get this in as soon as possible.”
The NOHFC program offers 75 percent funding for capital projects such as community centres, fire stations, road repairs, recreational facilities, and water and sewer upgrades, said Bell.
The additional work on the waterfront project will focus on the beautification along Front Street, including the extension of the “La Verendrye Parkway” walkway to La Verendrye hospital.
The application for the grant, which was approved by council, will be forwarded to the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines as soon as possible.
Communities of 3,000 or more are eligible for per capita grants of $150 per resident. The money will be available through 2004.
The program has a provision to allow municipalities to contribute part of its 25 percent share in the form of measurable, in-kind contributions, like equipment and labour.
There also is an opportunity for municipalities to apply for a share greater than 70 percent from the NOHFC.
Northern Development and Mines minister Dan Newman, who also chairs the NOHFC, stated in a recent press release that he was “very pleased the new Northern Communities Capital Assistance program [which will contribute $82 million].”
“I look forward to continue working with northerners across the region, and to continue finding solutions that work for Northern Ontario,” he added.