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MAT committee to be struck soon

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In the footsteps of council implementing a four percent Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) in January, the Rainy River Future Development Corp. will be striking a new committee to guide how part of the funds are spent to promote tourism marketing for the community.

Council will vote tonight on an agreement to designate the RRFDC as the town's Designated Marketing Organization for the utilization of the MAT funds for tourism promotion.

Part of this role includes the RRFDC heading up a MAT committee.

In a report from economic development consultant Tannis Drysdale, she noted the suggested makeup of the committee is:

  • one appointed member of Fort Frances council;
  • up to one each designate of each tourism/accommodation providing business with more than 10 rooms in Fort Frances;
  • up to four total representatives of Fort Frances-based community festival, event, or sport organizations;
  • one designated representative from the Fort Frances Museum;
  • one designated representative of the Fort Frances BIA; and
  • one designated representative of the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce.

“The RRFDC plans to apply for funds in 2019 from the Ontario Heritage Fund and/or Tourism Ontario to access the assistance of an agency who will develop a five-year promotion plan for the committee,” Drysdale wrote in her report.

“This plan will include a product review, a target market review, and a suggested detailed promotional budget with goals,” she noted.

The RRFDC also has established separate accounts for the MAT funds, which will be audited with the RRFDC annual audit.

Tonight's council meeting, which also will include an RRFDC activity presentation from Drysdale, immediately will follow the committee of the whole meeting, which gets underway at 5:30 p.m.

Three in-camera items are on the agenda first, which involve an inquiry to purchase municipal land (a laneway), interest in municipal property on Nelson Street, and an Agency One update.

Other items on tonight's agenda include:

  • a bylaw to authorize an extension of a lease agreement with Bearskin Lake Air Service LP at the Fort Frances Airport;
  • a request from C. Kent for an addition to the Eighth Street trails;
  • an agreement with the Kenora Central Ambulance Communications Centre for the purposes of providing call taking, alerting, or dispatching for the Fort Frances Fire and Rescue Service;
  • a recommendation re: a request letter from Gillons Insurance for 2019 parking passes;
  • a re-zoning application for 737 Scott St.;
  • a revised facility rental policy; and
  • a site-specific official plan amendment and zoning application for 520 Scott St.
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