While mayors and reeves across Rainy River District agree that “downloading” presents the biggest challenge in the year ahead, most—if not all—are bullish on 1998.
Here in Fort Frances, for instance, Mayor Glenn Witherspoon said we’re way ahead of similar-sized towns like Kenora and Dryden. And while he conceded there are problems with the new auditorium and arena projects, the mayor was confident both could become a reality in ’98.
Emo Reeve Brian Reid points to a healthy district economy, thanks to the OSB mill in Barwick and its resulting spin-offs, as reason for optimism in the year ahead. Chapple Reeve Cecil Wilson agrees, predicting a prosperous year with even more industry being lured to the area.
This isn’t to say we haven’t got problems, nor to suggest they will magically disappear if only we all put on a happy face. Municipalities certainly face challenges, whether it’s creating an Area Services Board or coming up with 1998 budgets that are 1.6 percent less than their 1996 ones.
But it’s amazing how quickly obstacles can be overcome when everyone works together towards a positive solution rather than remain divided by dwelling on the negative.
1998 can be a turning point for our district. And we seem to be on the right track towards that goal if our municipal leaders are willing to translate their optimistic talk into concrete action.