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Bass tourney asking town for assistance


With the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship taking to the waters of Rainy Lake for its 12th year on July 23-29, board chair Jim Cumming appeared before council Monday night to ask the town to once again help out with the popular community event.

Among the new initiatives this year, the FFCBC board is asking the town to support an application to the Rainy River Future Development Corp. for funding to undertake a comprehensive economic impact study.

The purpose of this is to demonstrate to the community—as well as tournament sponsors and volunteers—the value the FFCBC represents to the entire district.

The study will be a joint venture between the FFCBC and RRFDC, and include a minimum of 500 on-site spectator and 250 angler surveys to significantly reduce overall costs.

The RRFDC will guide the entire process, designing questionnaires, crunching the numbers, and preparing the final report.

Meanwhile, the FFCBC also asked the town to directly sponsor an event that is beyond its financial ability. Possible ones include the “hawg trough” or rules meeting breakfast.

The estimated cost of each option is between $2,000-7,000. Any idea the town may have would be welcome.

As well, the FFCBC would like the town to pave the grass area at the Sorting Gap Marina between the north side of Front Street and the parking lot.

Last year, the FFCBC covered part of it with mill felt to reduce the effect of the considerable amount of foot traffic this area receives during the tournament.

These requests are in addition to 30-plus the FFCBC annually asks the town to do, ranging from officially declaring the tourney as a “community festival,” to arranging the closure of Front Street for the event and authorizing the use of the mobile command post as a tournament communications centre.

Other requests include authorizing the use of town picnic tables on site, waiving launch fees for tournament competitors and volunteers, and donating 350 town pins for angler and volunteer kits.

Cumming also said the board of directors would like help from the town to interpret the new business licensing bylaw as it applies to vendors on site for the bass tourney.

Cumming noted there will be several changes to the tourney this year. For instance, the boat parade will be moved to Wednesday instead of Tuesday to give anglers more time to pre-fish.

Then on Wednesday, anglers will attend a rules meeting and breakfast, only to then go downtown for a show and shine and to meet the public during the day.

The parade then would be held that evening.

Other changes will be announced in the near future.

Cumming thanked the town for helping out in the past, including installing tent pegs last year and giving $10,000 to the event to help make up for the “Reel Raffle,” which had to be cancelled due to changes in provincial lottery licensing.

He added he was pleased to see Public Works already had begun fixing the launch ramp at the Sorting Gap Marina.

Council referred the FFCBC’s requests to all the executive committees for their recommendations.

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