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Answering the call

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The Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre still may face a cut to its budget for 2017, which potentially could result in reduced hours of operation there.

But town council seems to have soften its stance somewhat since its Feb. 21 budget meeting—and a large reason for that likely is due to the outpouring of support the library has received from patrons both posted on a wall there as well as on social media.

Around that same time, 125 people attended a “Mardi Gras” fundraiser at the Copper River Inn and raised just over $2,000 in support of the Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau, which recently had its request for funding, including $20,000 to help repair the roof of the old CN station, denied by town council.

In both cases, it's great to see local residents step to the plate—whether financially or through words—in support of facilities they either use themselves or realize their value to our community.

With taxpayers already burdened to the limit by all three levels of government, many services we have come to depend on increasingly are relying on individuals, businesses, and groups to help shoulder the financial load.

We've seen it happening in the education system, with parents having to kick in more and more of their own money for things like supplies for their children. In health care, we constantly are being asked to support fundraising drives to fund new equipment purchases and much-needed renovations—and now even to help recruit and retain doctors locally.

In terms of recreation and entertainment, it was local donors who spearheaded construction of such facilities as the Ice For Kids Arena and Townshend Theatre, along with the soon-to-be-completed tennis courts.

It's clear tax revenue just isn't enough anymore to cover services and programs that may not be deemed as “essential” but certainly go a long way in making a community vibrant. That, in turn, helps to retain current residents and businesses, as well as attract new ones.

We always have been a generous district when it comes to supporting various causes. It's also a call we'll be asked to answer even more often going forward.

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