In the wake of learning they may be amalgamated with Sioux Narrows, Nestor Falls residents called an emergency meeting last night and passed a motion to propose a merger with Chapple instead.
Earlier this month, the province had appointed a commission to study—and decide—what the best restructuring plan would be for the area.
But Nestor Falls residents didn’t know they were part of an amalgamation solution with Sioux Narrows until a reporter in Kenora called Leona Forsyth, chair of the Nestor Falls Local Services Board, last week.
“Someone from Kenora called and asked me if we were upset about all this and I didn’t know what she was talking about,” said Forsyth.
Sioux Narrows had asked for the commission (being headed by Arthur Wellington)—leaving residents in Nestor Falls, two other Rainy River District townships, and 10 in Kenora District little choice but to sit back and see what happens as it decided their fate.
They have until Feb. 28 to send proposals and requests to the commission, which is to complete its work by April 14.
At last night’s meeting, the 53 residents on hand voted to send a proposal suggesting the commission leave Nestor Falls out of the Sioux Narrows merger and be included with Chapple.
“We looked at what both municipalities had to offer. People go south for their education, doctors, and purchases,” said Forsyth
Sioux Narrows Acting Reeve Jerry Fugate said surrounding municipalities previously turned down a proposal Sioux Narrows had put together.
“Well what’s happened is there is a commission that’s been appointed to study an expanded area as requested by the province. They study area includes Nestor Falls almost to Rushing River,” said Fugate.
“We had done a study and we had done a vote to annex. As a result of that vote, it’s up to a provincially-appointed commission,” he remarked.
“We can try to persuade [Wellington] not to follow the government’s prescribed area,” noted Forsyth. “We’ll have to become part of a municipality. Nestor Falls doesn’t have the population to pay for services.”
In the meantime, she said residents there are still surprised about the commission.
“I think people here in Nestor Falls think if we don’t make noise, people won’t notice us. They’re kind of upset,” Forsyth said. “What’s the matter with the way we are?”