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Town lands funding boost from province

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Fort Frances is among the 405 small and rural communities in Ontario that will benefit from one-time funding totally more than $200 million in all.

The town will be getting $689,030 this year, Mayor June Caul told the Times this morning.

She had received a letter from Municipal Affairs minister Steve Clark yesterday.

“It's definitely good news," Mayor Caul enthused, adding, ”I think what they're trying to do is help us start planning a better asset management plan.

“We've started doing that already," she noted. ”We've basically got our asset management plan for our infrastructure and our buildings done already.

“This will give us money to help us figure out how can do things more efficiently.”

While the windfall hasn't been discussed by council at the budget table yet, the funding will help with the town's 2019 budget, the mayor said.

“Every little bit we can get will help with operations in general,” Mayor Caul reasoned, adding that unfortunately Clark's letter did not indicate exactly when the town would be getting the $689,030.

Clark made the announcement yesterday in Innisfil, Ont., noting “taxpayers need their local government to deliver modern, efficient services that show respect for their hard-earned dollars.”

“This funding will help small and rural municipalities improve how they deliver services and reduce the ongoing costs of providing those services,” he noted.

“I look forward to continuing to work together with our municipal partners to help people and businesses in communities across our province thrive.”

According to the ministry, “some of Ontario's small and rural municipalities may have limited capacity to plan, modernize, and improve the way they provide services to their communities.”

“With this funding, municipalities can improve service delivery by finding smarter, more efficient ways to spend money that help those who need it most while respecting taxpayer dollars,” it added.

According to the province, the funding is based on the number of households in a community and whether it is urban or rural.

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