Town to discuss museum sites again

Whether the Lookout Tower and Fort St. Pierre at Pither’s Point Park ever will be repaired remains a matter of debate, with town council perhaps making some decisions at a meeting July 22.
While discussion on the matter was on the agenda for Monday’s committee of the whole meeting, Coun. Sharon Tibbs—perhaps the most vocal supporter of saving the Lookout Tower—said more research is needed first.
“Since we last talked about this, we tried to see if something could be about the stairs and we found this can’t be done,” she noted.
Coun. Tibbs previously suggested the standards perhaps could be reconsidered because the site is a historic one and the stairs are, in fact, how the original ones would be—steep.
While the stairs may be authentic, there’s no leniency because the current site of the tower is not its original one.
Mayor Glenn Witherspoon noted “one glowing light” could lie with the “Re-inventing Fort Frances” initiative.
“With a consultant coming in, they aren’t just looking at three blocks but at tourist attractions in general,” he noted.
Through the use of a “SuperBuild” grant or something similar, the mayor said making the necessary repairs to the sites would be entirely feasible.
Council agreed to have several of its executive committees, including Administration and Finance, meet yet again to discuss the matter, in preparation for more discussion at the regular meeting July 22.
The Lookout Tower and Fort St. Pierre have been closed indefinitely until necessary repairs are made. The “Hallett” also will be closed for the season as it is repainted.
Also at Monday night’s meeting, council:
•passed a bylaw authorizing the entering into of a lease agreement with Canadian Wilderness Outposts Ltd. at the Fort Frances Municipal Airport;
•passed a bylaw authorizing an agreement with CIBC to provide for direct deposit of payroll;
•authroized a one-year extension to the Tom Veert Contracting landfill contract, with a two percent increase;
•denied a request for assistance from the Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau to water 12 hanging baskets and a flower bed in front of the old CN station (this was recommended by Bruce Spottiswood, superintendent of works facilities, on the grounds the town does not water where water is readily available);
•authorized the purchase of a sofa and love seat for the Toy Lending Library at a cost of $2,500 (this is funded from fundraising activities);
•authorized a non-budgeted capital purchase of a computer from Northland Basics for the children’s department at the Fort Frances Public Library (cost is $1,933);
•agreed to forward an application for the 2002 Community Museum Operating Grant to the Ministry of Culture (this could provide up to $20,000 in operating subsidy for the museum here); and
•approved a request from CUPE 65 that summer hours (July/August) at the Civic Centre be 8 a.m.-4 p.m.