After years of neglect during the 1990s, it’s high time Fort Frances has realized the error of its ways and redirected new energy to economic development here.
Clearly, an aggressive approach is needed to attract new businesses and industrial development to Fort Frances--and that must start with forward-looking leaders who aren’t afraid to think, “Build it and they will come.”
That’s the message CAO Bill Naturkach passed on to council Monday night after attending the annual “Northern Networks” trade conference in Green Bay, Wis. last week. It’s a message council would be wise to endorse, and pursue.
Nay-sayers and navel-gazers, of course, will argue the town is foolish to put the cart before the horse, so to speak. But they’re wrong. Fort Frances cannot afford to wait around for businesses and industry to knock on the door. Rather, we have to go out and find them.
The key part of the equation is having the infrastructure already in place to accommodate their needs. Otherwise, they’ll simply set up shop elsewhere--taking much-needed jobs and a valuable tax base with them.
And leaving us in the dust.
It’s obvious Fort Frances has a lot of ground to make up, but it’s still not too late to turn things around. It won’t be easy, nor will it be cheap, but it’s the risk we must take--right now.
Rest assured, if you don’t build it, they won’t come for sure.