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Hallett, tower project deferred

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Town council deferred any decision on the proposed relocation and refurbishment of the Hallett and lookout tower pending further costing information from Tom Jones Construction.

Community Services manager George Bell informed council he was hoping to have negotiated amounts for the tender ready for council at Monday’s meeting, but a conference call with the contractor last Thursday was cancelled.

They have asked for another week to confirm their numbers.

He added he should have a recommendation for council at its next regular meeting (April 27).

In related news, Coun. Paul Ryan said he would like the town look into what happens with the Hallett and lookout tower after the Pither’s Point land lease expires at the end of the month.

“If we go ahead with this, our assets are sitting on property that we’re leasing right now, and by the time we get to it—if we do this job and the contract is awarded—it could be a possibility our assets are on someone else’s property.

“I am just wondering if that could create a problem when go on this property and try to get out stuff off it?” he asked.

“It’s something to consider.”

“We need to look into that,” agreed Bell. “That’s a good point.”

As previously reported, council received a recommendation last Monday to award the tender to Tom Jones Construction for about $1.1 million.

This is part of the $1.4-million Phase II of the Heritage Tourism Project, which also includes signage, interpretive panels, and wayfinding connecting the downtown core to the La Verendrye Parkway (Front Street).

The town’s share of the project is about $273,000, with the rest being paid for through federal and provincial grants and local partners (i.e., the BIA and Chamber of Commerce).

If it goes ahead, the work will entail moving and refurbishing the Hallett and lookout tower from their Pither’s Point Park locations.

The lookout tower will be placed to the east of the Sorting Gap Marina, fixed up, and re-opened so visitors once again can climb its stairs and get a bird’s eye view of the river and surrounding area.

The Hallett, meanwhile, will be moved into the upper Rainy River to the west of the boat launch.

There also will be additional landscaping.

Phase II of the Heritage Tourism Project, as a whole, also includes new signage and interpretive panels.

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