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Good progress made on strategic plan

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With the current term of town council coming to an end this fall, considerable progress has been made on its strategic plan since first drafting it three years ago this month.

Fort Frances CAO Doug Brown told council at its meeting Monday night that 26 of 43 initiatives in the plan have been completed while another 11 are partially complete and ongoing.

Only three are fully outstanding.

“It's good news," Brown said. "There's a lot of good things that have happened to the community.”

The strategic plan update is available on the town's website (www.fortfrances.ca) and Brown is urging residents to check it out.

The tennis courts, which were an outstanding issue after the building of the new public library, are an example of a strategic initiative that was completed, Brown noted.

Other completed initiatives range from the Huffman Court subdivision to the Rainy Lake Square to name but two.

As far as ongoing initiatives, Brown said he and Mayor Roy Avis recently have re-opened channels of communication with Resolute Forest Products regarding repurposing of its mill here and the possible acquisition of Resolute-owned properties.

Coun. June Caul, meanwhile, continues to push for assisted living and seniors' housing.

Other ongoing initiatives include a sewer and water agreement with Couchiching First Nation, landfill site expansion, and forest tenure reform.

Brown said one item unlikely to be completed before the end of the current council's term is a sustainable community plan.

This plan, which will address environmental, social, and economic sustainability strategies to ensure long-term community sustainability, was put forward to access a “green” fund from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities but not included in the 2018 budget.

It also was the last item added to the strategic plan.

The other two outstanding items are implementing an active transportation plan and investigation of a green space plan.

The strategic plan, dubbed “Incredible Community-Boundless Opportunity,” was compiled and evaluated during a day-long public session at Sunny Cove Camp on June 11, 2015.

It was a collaborative effort of council, administration, and community stakeholders.

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