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Council to mull new subdivision

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Town council could be looking at another subdivision in the near future.

Fort Frances CAO Doug Brown said at Monday night's meeting that as part of the town's strategic plan, council and administration will be examining the next subdivision development for the community starting in May.

“I want council to start thinking about private development versus public, and where we have property in the town,” he noted.

While lots sales were slow to begin with, the current Huffman Court subdivision has been filling up over the past year.

Only five of the 16 lots remain available, and a fourth home was built there in the past couple of weeks.

To bring the public up to date regarding the town's strategic plan, Brown noted council took office on Dec. 1, 2014.

Six months into its term, council developed a strategic plan entitled, “Incredible Community, Boundless Opportunity.”

There were 43 objectives or tasks outlined in it. Out of the 43, 19 have been completed so far (about 43 percent).

Fifteen are still ongoing while nine haven't started yet.

Council has been in office for 27 months, and has 21 months left until the new term of council begins in December, 2018.

One future objective includes developing a review of future health care in the community with stakeholder groups, as well as determining the town's role in the scheme of things.

This will involve contacting the North West LHIN and having it make a presentation to council on its role.

“The LHIN is supposed to do this. We shouldn't let them off the hook,” stressed Brown.

“Let's hear from them," he noted. ”Let's understand what they do for health care in Northwestern Ontario and our district.

“We want to make it better—I think all of us sitting [here] want to do that,” Brown added.

“I think this is where we start," he remarked. "And then we figure out what we're going to do to meet this objective.”

Strategic plan items that will come to fruition later this year include the tennis courts, which should be open for use on June 1.

As well, construction of the new Rainy Lake Square in the downtown area will begin later this spring.

The town also is developing an asset management plan this year to meet new provincial regulations.

Challenges noted in the strategic plan that still remain on the radar include the fate of the mill here, housing options for seniors, and the impact of the MPAC reassessment on the town's budgeting process.

“Overall, I was happy with the progress administration and council have made over the last 27 months,” said Brown.

“If you ever want to know what direction your community is going in, the strategic plan's on our website,” he added.

The town's website is at www.fortfrances.ca

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