Town helps with flood relief
Fort Frances will do its part to help the disaster relief effort in Thunder Bay after town council agreed last night to donate $1,000 to help flood victims.
While the Administration and Finance executive committee originally recommended the town simply receive a financial request from Thunder Bay and Area Disaster Relief Fund and take no further action, Coun. Andrew Hallikas felt council should reconsider and give something.
“This storm that hit them and flooded them out caused all sorts of problems for the people who live there.
“I’d like to think if that happened to us that we could count on our neighbours to help us out a little bit,” added Coun. Hallikas, noting it only has to be small amount ($500-$1,000) which will be matched 2-to-1 by the provincial government.
The relief fund is controlled by the City of Thunder Bay, but every penny will go to uninsured or under-insured residents who suffered losses due to the flood which occurred there in late May.
The city is hoping to raise $15 million-$20 million.
Coun. Ken Perry explained the Administration and Finance executive committee, which recommended council take no further action, felt a token donation might be considered “a slap in the face.”
“It would be worse than no donation at all,” he reasoned. “They are millions of dollars in the red . . . and if we were to donate $100, $200, $500, what does it indicate?
“We sympathize with them, and a letter to them saying that could solve that problem, but give a 500-dollar bill, $1,000—they are looking for millions,” Coun. Perry noted.
Coun. Hallikas, who also sits on the Administration and Finance executive committee but could not attend the portion of the meeting where they discussed this matter, said he wasn’t criticizing the decision of the committee but feels any donation would be helpful.
“They’re looking for any little bit,” he explained. “They’re asking their own citizens, they’re asking everyone, and a lot of people come through and give a few bucks here and there.
“It will add up.
“I don’t think it will be construed as a slap in the face,” Coun. Hallikas added. “It’s a good thing.”
The $1,000 will come from council’s public relations fund.
Mayor Roy Avis also will send a letter of support to Thunder Bay.
Also at last night’s regular meeting, council received a report re: the Civic Centre emergency asbestos abatement cost.
Power Vac was engaged to complete the work at a cost of $18,000 for the removal of asbestos, and an additional $2,400 to have DST Consultants conduct the air quality testing and clearances.
As well, council:
•supported a request from SkyPower to enact a municipal resolution in support of its application to the Ontario Power Authority (OPA);
•passed a bylaw to approve an annual financial contribution initiative agreement with SkyPower Projects ULC;
•passed a bylaw to approve an amendment to an amended and restated option agreement with CopperLight LP; and
•heard a report re: the fifth-annual Local Government Week on Oct. 14-20 (this week again will see councillors and town administration promoting local government, including meeting with students and participating in a radio broadcast).