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Council approves court security proposal

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Town council approved a proposal at last night's meeting that will enhance court security and provide cost certainty to the town.

The proposal provides the OPP with direction to commence a recruiting process around the first week in October for two OPP special constables who will provide local court security.

They will be employed for Jan. 1, 2020, and the current contract with the OPP that uses regular duty officers to deliver court security will be terminated.

Utilizing special constables for court security is a common practice throughout Ontario and will save the town significant dollars over time.

Net savings estimates for the municipality show that $113,835 could be saved each year, according to the Police Services Board's proposal.

Coun. Doug Judson, who's also a lawyer, said he's happy to see the proposal go through.

“Just a thank you to our representative of police services for working through this issue, I know it's been one that's been brought to our attention by our CAO several times and is one of our biggest uncontrollable costs year to year,” he remarked.

“I think we're all happy to see a movement towards some certainty in that dollar amount and I know having broached this with the court stakeholder committee as well and this should be a welcomed development in that world.”

Meanwhile, Operations and Facilities manager Travis Rob noted Second Street construction is well underway and trees have been removed between Portage Avenue and Armit Avenue along Second Street East.

Currently, the contractors are doing some exploratory work around the sanitary manhole and sanitary water mains at the Victoria Street intersection.

“I just wanted to let the public know right now the town is working on doing some water main isolations in that area,” Rob explained.

He said they are turning a lot of valves and as a result they're stirring up some water which can cause discolouration.

“If anyone in that area notices they have discoloured water, we're asking them to first run their cold water for about 30 minutes. And if the water doesn't clear up, then they can give Public Works a call and we'll come and do some more investigation,” Rob explained.

The contractors are working on a 10 day-on and four day-off schedule.

They will be out of town starting Thursday of this week, for their first four-day stint.

Also at last night's meeting, Mayor June Caul urged the public to visit the new Franklin Exhibit at the Fort Frances Museum.

“It's a world-renowned exhibit that is quite costly to bring in but the history behind it and the information that people will be able to read and see and share is second to none, so if you get a chance please talk to your friends and family,” she enthused.

Meanwhile, Coun. Mike Behan is encouraging the public to come out and support “Quest for the Best” on July 19 at 7:30 p.m., under the big tent at the Sorting Gap Marina.

“I understand Quest is once again filled with 20 acts, divided into two sets, the winner of each set then will square off in the battle song which is Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne, to crown the grand prize winner,” he noted.

Tickets are available at Northwoods, Causeway Insurance, and Northern Career Development Services (NCDS) for $15, and VIP tickets cost $20.

Coun. Behan warned that the tickets move fast and would encourage the public to call Jennifer Soderholm at 274-5573 to secure one before they're all gone.

He's also encouraging folks who can volunteer at the event to call Solderholm and let her know they're interested.

“I know I'll be helping with set up and also helping out with the first set people choice awards, so the more hands we have the better it all is of course,” Coun. Behan reasoned.

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