Cellphone customers in Fort Frances soon should have more service providers to choose from after town council on Monday night approved a request from Dryden Municipal Telephone System to lease space on the water tower for a cellular antenna, and directed that an authorizing bylaw be prepared.
Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown said told council he’s been in discussion with Dryden Municipal Telephone System over the last couple of weeks, which is interested in providing cellphone service in Fort Frances, and elsewhere in Northwestern Ontario, and competing against TBayTel.
Brown said Dryden Municipal Telephone System wants to get up and running here before winter, adding they have an agreement with Rogers Mobility service.
Coun. John Albanese said any competition is good for business while Mayor Roy Avis said he welcomes the competition in the cellphone marketplace, and supports leasing space to Dryden Municipal Telephone System.
“I’m in favour of this,” said Coun. Andrew Hallikas. “We’re living in a time of increasing technological complexity, and the more competition we get, the more options we get, and the better it is for residents of Fort Frances.
“I believe truly in a free enterprise system,” echoed Coun. Paul Ryan. “I agree with Coun. Albanese . . . that competition is good—if somebody else wants to provide it, we’ll let them up on the tower, as well.
“The more, the merrier.”
“I’m in favour of it,” agreed Coun. Rick Wiedenhoeft.
“As a councillor, I concur with the rest of you guys for a change,” said Coun. Ken Perry.
The lease will be for five years at a rate of $2,822/year.
Also at Monday night’s meting, council:
•agreed to form a committee to investigate the possibility of the town acquiring Kiwanis Sunny Cove Camp;
•approved the appointment of Daniel T. Onichuk to the BIA board, with the term ending Nov. 30, 2010;
•approved the waiving of tipping fees for building waste from the old Fort Frances High School property;
•approved waiving auditorium fees for the Northwestern Health Unit’s community influenza clinic at the Memorial Sports Centre in November;
•agreed to a sale of property (a laneway between Elizabeth Street East and Fifth Street East), and directed that the first right of refusal for acquisition of the property be given to owner of 1222 Fifth St. E. (Mary Elder) and the second right of refusal be given to the owner at 1217 Elizabeth St. E. (Trevor Bowles);
•accepted the August, 2008 drinking water systems monthly summary report;
•approved a report noting the town reviewed a letter from Thorrot Cox in regards to the town’s workforce responding to a sanitary sewer blockage on March 8, 2008, and that said workforce followed the proper protocol for addressing such a blockage (as a result, the property owners will be responsible for all costs associated with the call-out for these services);
•agreed to support the Rainy River District Substance Abuse Team’s request for a financial contribution of $250 towards the presentation by Joanne Waytowich at the Seniors’ Lifestyle Expo to be held at Fort Frances High School on Saturday, Oct. 25;
•agreed to sponsor festival games in the amount of $500 at the Riverside Foundation for Health Care’s “Oktoberfest” party on Saturday, Oct. 4 at the Memorial Sports Centre auditorium;
•approved purchase card expenses for Fort Frances CAO Mark McCaig in the amount of $1,079.39 for his attendance at AMO conference held in Ottawa in August (these expenses pertain to ground transportation and hotel accommodations);
•approved travel expense and per diem claims for Mayor Roy Avis in the amount of $479.02 (this was for attendance at the Northern Networks Trade Conference held in Duluth on Sept. 10-12);
•approved travel expense and per diem claims for Coun. Paul Ryan in the amount of $620.47 (this was for attendance at the Northern Networks Trade Conference);
•gave municipal planner Faye Flatt direction that any inquiries into potential residential development will be under the condition that local improvements be funded 100 percent by the property owners; and
•agreed to stick with Tuesday, Oct. 14 as the date of the next council meeting (although it coincides with the federal election, council has held meetings on election nights in the past, and official notice already had been given for a public meeting that evening regarding a proposed zoning amendment at 1345 Emo Rd.)