During a public session Monday night to gather input on the town’s 2002 budget, only two residents had suggestions to offer council.
Bruno Seppala, a long-time resident of Fort Frances, had a number of suggestions catering to senior citizens.
They included an increase in fines for people parking in handicapped spaces, decreased fees for seniors at the Memorial Sports Centre who only use the pool, transportation for seniors during the World Health Organization’s conference here in 2002, and that the piles left by snowplows at the end of driveways in the winter be cleared for seniors.
“Thank you for the opportunity for speaking and for listening. I hope you did,” Seppala finished.
Meanwhile, Marlene Deschamps suggested the town contribute to the Fort Frances Native Women’s Association shelter, which receives most of its funding from bingos.
“We’re hosting the WHO and we’re supposed to be a safe community,” noted Deschamps. “It’s safe for workers, it’s safe for children, we’re building a shelter for animals. Somebody better do something pretty soon for the women.
“We’re caught in the political game here but that doesn’t negate the fact that we need a safe place for the women in this community,” she stressed.
During Monday night’s regular meeting, council voted 4-3 that the local Lion’s Club build a fence along the back of its Millennium Park and Shevlin Towers parking lot despite requests from property owner Lyle Armstrong to leave the area open for piling snow.
“What’s happened is the town, residents, and property owners all wanted the fence built. Now one of the parties has decided that what is there is adequate,” noted Coun. Sharon Tibbs.
Also Monday night, council:
•approved being twinned with a similar community in Florida;
•approved $1 per capita in funding for the Rainy River First Nation Watershed Program’s one-day hazardous waste drop-off site in Emo;
•received a letter from Community and Social Services minister John Baird denying any changes in representation policies on the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board (DSSAB);
•approved the Public Works department to mark parking areas on a lot on the corner of Minnie Avenue and Front Street for the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship;
•approved funding a computer consultant to assess the town’s software and hardware needs before any purchases are made; and
•received a request from an Alberton resident for access to Fort Frances’ water supply.
During the committee of the whole meeting earlier Monday, Coun. Neil Kabel suggested council consider approaching other district communities to suggest the local DSSAB be replaced with an Area Services Board (ASB).
“What about the ASB? Can we do something to orchestrate that?” asked Coun. Kabel. “Why can’t we get this back to the table?”