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Council discards health unit offer

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Town council discarded an offer from the Northwestern Health Unit to help train local bylaw enforcement staff on a smoking bylaw by removing it from the agenda at Monday night’s regular meeting.

“Given council’s current situation with this topic, we don’t have a particular answer for the health unit,” said CAO Bill Naturkach. “And certainly, we can’t tell where we’ll end up at the end of the day.”

“This is an opportunity to make our employees aware of the certain bylaws and so forth,” noted Mayor Glenn Witherspoon. “But personally, I don’t think we’re at a stage to attend any training workshops.

“And besides, we’ve said before we don’t have the personnel to enforce it,” the mayor added.

The correspondence from the health unit, which requested a response by today, invited bylaw enforcement officers, town police, and other appropriate municipal staff to attend a free conference that would be held in either the Rainy River or Kenora districts.

Also Monday night, after giving a report on the Rainy River Future Development Corp.’s activities for the first quarter of the year, local economic development officer Geoff Gillon assured council a business incentive plan will be worked on over the summer.

“We’re working on it,” he said. “I think it’s time we had some kind of economic development plan.

“When it’s done, it will clearly say, ‘This is what we can do for you.’ And council will know ahead of time how much they allow when offering businesses incentives for starting up here,” he added.

“No more case-by-case basis,” he stressed.

Gillon noted there will be presentations to council on the subject over the summer.

In other news from Monday night’s meeting, council:

•authorized the award of a tender to Bay City Contractors in the amount of $100,045 for sanitary sewer television inspection and cleaning;

•approved authorizing the award of a tender to Towland-Hewitson Construction Ltd. in the amount $70,164 for asphalt patching;

•authorized the purchase of a used 1997 Belarus 5170 tractor from Badiuk Equipment in the amount of $22,994.25 for the Fort Frances Municipal Airport (this will come the airport reserve fund);

•approved the annually recurring fee-for-service to the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce for $5,000 for promoting tourism in the area;

•authorized the installation of planters and hanging baskets at the Fort Frances Municipal Airport at the cost of $1,000 (as well, a complete landscaping plan will be costed and referred to the 2003 airport budget);

•agreed to draw up a bylaw forming an agreement with the CIBC for direct deposit for municipal employees. (this will be read and voted on at a future meeting);

•authorized water and sewer bills to be mailed out bi-monthly (instead on monthly) as of Jan. 1, 2003, and a mail stuffing machine be bought for $12,500;

•referred the installation of a new sound system for the council chambers to the 2003 budget (About $8,000 had been set aside to get a system in 2002 but it was too costly. That money will be carried over to next year’s budget); and

•gave the Fort Frances Public Library board permission to establish a personnel selection committee to pick someone for the new position of part-time co-ordinator for the Early Years grant, as well permission to waive the necessity of such of a committee to pick personnel to lead French and Ojibway storytime.

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