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Snow removal draft rejected

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Town council has sent a draft of its sidewalk snow removal bylaw back to committee for a do-over.

“I think we should send this back to committee because it's not addressing what was asked to be addressed,” deputy mayor Ken Perry said during last night's council meeting.

“We were asking to address the public sidewalks on Scott Street and this addresses private sidewalks and throwing snow from a private sidewalk to a public thoroughfare, being a curb, a gutter, the street, and we didn't deal with the problem,” he noted.

Council agreed to refer the draft bylaw to the Operations and Facilities executive committee for further review.

The bylaw review was prompted by a letter the town received in November from local resident Carole Mackintosh regarding the issue of sidewalk snow removal on Scott Street.

Also at last night's meeting, council received a recommendation from the Planning and Development executive committee to receive the reports and deputation regarding wood-burning smoke health hazards as information and take no further action.

Bylaw enforcement officer Patrick Briere told the Times this morning the decision was based on the town's current practices.

“Currently, the authority that we have to deal with wood smoke in Fort Frances is none,” he noted.

"That's dealt with by the Ministry of the Environment, the provincial entities.

“The Building Code states that wood-burning appliances—wood stoves, etc.—placed in your home or your garage are permitted upon original installation,” Briere added.

"And once they're originally installed and done, it's up to the insurance company—through WETT [Wood Energy technology Transfer] certification—to make sure that you can meet insurance regulations.

“Our outdoor wood-burning bylaw only speaks to what you burn—clean, dry wood, no garbage, etc.,” he said.

“As long as your stove's been WETT certified, the insurance industry will continue to insure you.”

In other business, council:

  • received a presentation from town GIS expert Trish Law re: the 2017 orthophoto imagery of the Town of Fort Frances;
  • approved the adjustment of taxes for 2017 at 1012 Victoria Ave. N. (this adjustment is due to a garage being razed by fire);
  • referred a request for financial support from Safe Communities Rainy River District to the Administration and Finance executive committee for its recommendation;
  • referred a request for an ice time review at the Ice For Kids Arena from hockey camp proprietors Davis and Nolan Ross to the Community Services executive committee for its recommendation;
  • referred a letter from “Heart of the Continent” re: annual dues to the Administration and Finance executive committee for its recommendation;
  • referred a letter from the Rainy River District Festival Association re: a donation request to the Administration and Finance executive committee for its recommendation;
  • referred a per capita funding request from the Rainy River Future Development Corp. to the Administration and Finance executive committee for its recommendation;
  • authorized entering into a lease agreement with Doug Macdonald at the Fort Frances Airport and passed the accompanying bylaw;
  • agreed that BDO Canada LLP be appointed as auditors for the Town of Fort Frances for a five-year term ending Dec. 31, 2022;
  • awarded RFP 17-AF-14 (The Review and Update Pay Equity Plans for Union and Management/Non-Union Groups) to Equity & More out of Thunder Bay at a total estimated cost of $43,731 (all taxes included);
  • received the Amended Property Assessment Notice for property located at 1167 River Rd. W. in Fort Frances for the 2017 taxation year;
  • approved the payment of a business/organization membership fee for 2018 in the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in the amount of $60; and
  • passed a bylaw to authorize the entering into of certain contracts with respect to the provision of janitorial services.
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