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Budget input to be offered

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Council will get some input on the 2019 budget tonight during its first regular meeting of the new term.

Local resident Merv Ahrens will speak about how the town can ensure a “safer and greener future” for Fort Frances.

His recommendations include improving pedestrian safety by adding more crosswalks and sidewalks, as well as planting more trees along streets and boulevards and in parks.

Council also will receive two written budget submissions—one regarding a fireworks contribution by Dave Coats of the Fun in the Sun committee and the other regarding north-end road upgrades by Elizabeth Street resident Amy Marchuk.

As well, council will hear a non-budget presentation regarding the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) from La Place Rendez-Vous general manager Sarah Noonan.

Town council voted in late September to adopt a new four percent MAT, effective Jan. 1, 2019.

This tax would be paid by those staying at local hotels and motels, with monies reaped to be used partly for tourism marketing and partly for infrastructure and development.

Also tonight, council will be expected to provide appropriate direction to administration regarding legislation requirements surrounding recreational cannabis retail stores in Ontario.

Like any other Ontario municipality, council may opt-out of allowing recreational cannabis retail stores within its jurisdiction.

If it wishes to do so, under the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018, there is a requirement to pass a resolution by Jan. 22, 2019.

Tonight's council meeting will follow the committee of the whole meeting, which starts at 5:30 p.m.

Two in-camera item are on the agenda (appointments to boards and committees and a proposed acquisition of the Victoria Avenue parking lot).

This meeting will be preceded by a special one at 4 p.m., in which council will meet in-camera re: Agency One matters.

Other business on tonight's agenda includes:

  • a letter from local resident J. Myers re: a new Riverview Cemetery columbarium;
  • a letter from R. and M. Gushulak and D. and R. Broman re: property development off Colonization Road West;
  • a letter from B. Tookenay, CEO of Seven Generations Education Institute; re: congratulations and an invitation;
  • a letter from K. Charlebois re: an Alzheimer Society proclamation and flag-raising at the Civic Centre; and
  • a letter from Diane Maxey re: a request for support for Fort Frances Choraliers.
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