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Safety coalition moves to new office

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Even though the Rainy River Valley Safety Coalition may not have funding in place to support a co-ordinator after April 1, its office moved from the Northwestern Health Unit to more spacious digs above Betty’s earlier this week.

The new 750 sq. ft. office, located at 266 Scott St., gives the RRVSC room for private office space and a conference area as it continues to plan for the World Health Organization’s International Safe Communities conference to be held here in 2002.

Jim Zucchiatti, the RRVSC’s current safety co-ordinator, will see his position wrap up about March 20 as a year’s funding from Human Resources Development Canada ends.

The RRVSC does have applications out for some $120,000 in government funding to help run an office and maintain a co-ordinator but chances are good that support will be slow in coming.

Rent money the RRVSC spends on its new digs will be saved in the long run as it is being donated back by Betty’s.

“HRDC funding was a one-shot deal,” RRVSC chairman Doug Anderson noted Monday.

“[Now] it’s about finding the funding pocket within the provincial and federal government, and it’s hard to find because we’re on the cutting edge of something,” he added.

Although Zucchiatti felt a gap between safety co-ordinators wouldn’t be a good thing, he was confident his work over the last year to gather district communities under the RRVSC umbrella would carry on.

“I’ve tried hard, and I think I’ve done fairly well, in going to outlying areas to raise the presence of the safety coalition,” he reasoned yesterday.

“We’ve had very good response from the district [and] I think people will understand that if there’s a gap [in co-ordination] that we’ve not forgotten them again—the link is strong enough now,” he added.

The RRVSC also is hoping to hire a conference co-ordinator in the near future to further streamline the process leading up to 2002.

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