Town to help monitor lightning

While many local residents no doubt watch The Weather Network each morning to see what Mother Nature holds in store for the day ahead, Fort Frances will help it gather district storm data down the road.
Community Services manager George Bell informed council Monday night that The Weather Network has approached the town about putting a lightning sensor on top of the Memorial Sports Centre to monitor storm activity for the entire Rainy River District.
Bell added Pelmorex Media Inc. (The Weather Network’s parent company) wants to enter into a five-year agreement with the town to install the lightning sensor.
This will be at no cost to the town, which, in fact, will receive $1,200 in annual revenues from the agreement.
Council agreed to Bell’s recommendation to approve the installation, and directed the clerk to prepare the necessary bylaw to enter into a five-year agreement with Pelmorex Media Inc.
This bylaw will be presented to council at a future meeting.
Also Monday night, council passed a bylaw to establish a restructured Committee of Adjustment.
Back in December, council received a report from municipal planner Faye Flatt recommending the Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) and Committee of Adjustment (CoA) be combined in order to “streamline processing of applications and referrals, alleviate redundancy, cut down on staff time, and result in enhanced customer service.”
At that time, Flatt explained a one multi-purpose committee would enable consistent scheduling of meetings that will result in:
•decreased potential for absenteeism or lack of a quorum;
•enhanced customer service; and
•streamlined processing of referrals and applications by ensuring issues will be considered within a regimented period of time.
It also would increase the knowledge of committee members in regards to various land use issues and how those issues are related, as well as keeping them current with legislative changes and municipal direction.
Merging the two committees also would reduce staff time required to schedule and re-schedule meetings, as well as prepare meeting-associated information (agendas, minutes, follow-up correspondence, etc.)
At that time, the proposal was referred to the Planning and Development executive committee for its recommendation.
The terms of reference for a restructured CoA then came back before council Monday night, along with a bylaw to establish the new body.
The new committee consists of Dan Belluz, James Brow, Brian Kahler, Doug Kitowski, Bill Martin, Peter Sas, and Henrietta Verhoef.
Also at Monday night’s meeting, council:
•agreed to donate the use of Pither’s Point Park property for one free night of camping to the Canadian Cancer Society’s 2007 “Relay for Life” on Friday, June 22;
•approved a report directing staff to respond to specific requests for support made by the 2007 For France Canadian Bass Championship, and also agreed to designate the bass tourney as a “significant community festival” and declare July 22-28 as “Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship Week” in the Town of Fort Frances;
•agreed to support the Fort Frances Aquanauts Swim Team advertising banner request in the amount of $100;
•agreed to authorize the transfer of the “Move Ontario” grant amount of $883,409 to a reserve for the year ending Dec. 31, 2006;
•approved the signing of the release document of the estate trustees for the will of Myrtle Frances Gaylord;
•approved a report ensuring a verbal request by Ann Elizabeth Johnson for the town to pay half the costs for private contractors to repair her private sewer service line at 780 Church St. be accepted; and
•approved a request to construct a fence at 1600 Colonization Rd. W. which exceeds eight feet (the height normally allowable under municipal bylaw).