Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ryan to run again

The number of candidates running for town council has risen to nine after incumbent Paul Ryan filed his name yesterday.
Coun. Ryan, who is wrapping up his second four-year term on council, said there’s unfinished business he wants to see through.

“I’ve been heavily-involved in the issues that face the town for the past few years and I’m not the type of person who likes to leave a job not finished,” he remarked.
“So if the electorate wishes for me to continue with this work, I’ll be more than happy to do so.”
Not the least of these issues is the town’s ever-dwindling tax base.
“The town budget for 2014-15 is going to be unprecedented in the history of this town” due to the decreased tax base, Coun. Ryan warned.
“From 2007 until now, we’ve lost $1.3 million in taxes and also paid back taxes to Resolute because of reassessment to the tune of $1.7 million,” he noted.
“In the next couple years, we’re going to lose another million.”
Coun. Ryan added it’s predicted that by 2016, the mill will be valued around $4 million.
When he started on council, it was worth more than $27 million.
“This is the biggest thing and there’s big, big decisions to be made,” Coun. Ryan stressed.
Accordingly, economic development is a high priority.
“We’ve got to start to revitalize and replace what we’re losing,” he reasoned.
Infrastructure is another major concern.
“We have over 40 km of waterlines that are classified as ‘in peril,’” Coun. Ryan said.
The Point Park negotiations and forest tenure are other big issues.
“We need wood. If somebody buys this mill, we’ve got to have fibre,” Coun. Ryan stressed, referring to the latter.
“Right now, it’s being controlled by one entity.”
The town also must keep tabs on what’s happening with the amalgamation of local distribution companies (LDCs) and protecting the interests of the Fort Frances Power Corp.
“The government wants us to amalgamate,” Coun. Ryan noted. “Well, the only one we can amalgamate with is [Hydro One] because they’re our only neighbour.
“We would lose our power agreement and we’d bring up our cost of electricity by 37 percent.
“We must fight that,” he stressed. “They say they’re not going to force it, but they could change their minds.
“This is always on the radar.”
Coun. Ryan joins incumbents John Albanese and Ken Perry on the ballot, as well as newcomers Dan Belluz, Jennifer Greenhalgh, Ed Haglund, Jennifer Horton, Scott Krienke-Turvey, and Charleen Mallory.
Mayor Roy Avis and Coun. Andrew Hallikas have filed to run for the mayor’s chair.
On the education front, there now will be a race for the two Fort Frances seats on the Rainy River District School Board.
Raymond Roy, a retired manager of plant operations for the board, has filed to run as a trustee.
He will vying against incumbent David Kircher and newcomer Stephen Sinclair.
No one has yet filed for the two Fort Frances seats on the Northwest Catholic District School Board.
Candidates must submit their nomination to the town clerk by 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 12.
Mail-in ballots will be sent out to voters in early October.

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