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Council hears fishing bridge proposal

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A local man has proposed plans for a fishing bridge to be installed between Seven Oaks and a small island that sits about 30 yards offshore.

But since the Seven Oaks property is currently in litigation, the town isn't in a position to make a decision on anything relating to that property at this time.

In presentation to council here Monday evening, Tim Woods said fishing is a cornerstone in Fort Frances tourism and the bridge would provide senior citizens with a safe space to participate in the sport.

In his proposal, he noted that many seniors don't feel safe getting into a boat but would welcome an opportunity to stand or sit on a bridge and fish from it.

Woods said the bridge would be built seven feet wide to accommodate wheelchairs from which seniors could fish, yet allows enough room for others to get past them, as needed.

He added that the bridge shouldn't cost more than $100,000 and could potentially be financed with Trillium Grant funding from the province.

Woods said fishing bridges are very popular in the United States and other parts of the world like Yellowstone Park.

“I found it a very unique idea because there are so many people who are older who live around Fort France and who do love to fish,” Mayor June Caul noted.

She asked Woods if he had done the proposal with First Nations partners due to the Seven Oaks property being in litigation, noting that the town's hands are tied in the matter.

She also raised concerns around liability issues associated with the proposed bridge.

Woods said that they would definitely need some form of insurance.

After Woods concluded his proposal, council voted to receive the presentation.

“Thank you for the deputation,” Coun. Douglas Judson said.

“We welcome these ideas and visions for the community and we appreciate you putting pen to paper and sharing them with us,” he added.

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