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2001 a prosperous year for town: Witherspoon

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With everything from a mural project and new businesses opening to yet another popular Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship under its belt in 2001, Fort Frances is heading towards another successful year in 2002, Mayor Glenn Witherspoon said last week.

“I think the town, province, and country has weathered the recession quite well,” he noted.

“We had the opportunity to open several new businesses and increase the tax base,” added Mayor Witherspoon, referring to the Super 8 Motel, Ocean’s Pet Store, Northern Nutrition, and others that have opened here in the past year.

“Everything is happening for the positive,” he remarked.

And any problems that may have occurred hopefully will be rectified in 2002, the mayor said.

“There’s always problems. [When] you have human beings doing jobs, there’s bound to be human error,” he reasoned.

“But we have our strategic [plan] and we will be activating that,” he added. “I think you’ll see council pushing the entire corporation to be more prudent and cost-efficient.”

And while 2001 has been a full year, the mayor predicted 2002 likely will be even more prosperous.

“We’re almost guaranteed 2002 will see DSL [digital Internet access] service to our citizens,” he said. “Hopefully, a call centre, a condominium project, and the waterfront project all will be completed.

“I also know there will be new businesses starting up, too,” he added. “We also hope to have a decision about the [local] jail in the early spring. It looks very promising.”

One of the events certain to be a highlight in 2002 is the World Health Organization’s annual conference May 7-9.

“The organizers, led by Jeannette Cawston, have done a super job,” Mayor Witherspoon said. “It’s an opportunity for a town in Northwestern Ontario to really show the rest of the world the quality of life we have, the great citizens we have, and the opportunity for business investments that lie here.

“I really have to thank the ‘Safe Communities’ coalition,” he remarked.

“From a mayor’s standpoint, the citizens, the volunteers, continue to amaze me. I think Fort Frances is second-to-none in that regard,” he enthused.

“I wish everyone the best in the new year. May everyone have a happy and prosperous new year.”

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