Friday, February 15, 2013

Improvement Program Gets Make-over

There's some changes coming to incentive programs for residential property owners in Fort Frances.

The town has been offering rebates since 2003 to owners who demolish, renovate or rebuild older homes.

Consultant Tannis Drysdale says some requirements to participate are being changed to allow more property owners to participate.

Drysdale says despite heavy marketing, few people had taken advantage of them.

Some of the rebates offered will also be reworked.

Court Hearing On Two-Chain Issue

Legal wrangling over a section of property known as the two-chain shore allowance heads to a Fort Frances courtroom next week.

The Superior Court of Justice will hear a claim first filed by four area First Nations in 1998 against the province and federal governments.

In court documents filed,  the bands are seeking a declaration that the allowance is part of the Agency One reserve.

Four weeks over the next two month, have been set aside to hear the case.

New Health Care Programs This Fall

Rainy River Community College is planning to offer some new programs in the health care industry this fall.

The International Falls-based college is partnering with Hibbing Community College to deliver programs that help train new medical laboratory technicians, pharmacy technicians, nurses.

A certificate program in elder care and gerontology will also be offered.

College officials says the programs address high demand areas.

Rainy Lake Hotel Staying Up

The Rainy Lake Hotel will remain standing for at least another year.

Fort Frances town council has removed the nearly $1.7 million dollar demolition and creation of a market square from its capital budget.

Councillor Andrew Hallikas says they just can't afford do to it right now.

Hallikas says the building will be secured with the intent of revisiting the plan another year.

Capital List Shortened

The list of proposed capital projects for the town of Fort Frances is now a lot shorter.

Town council got their first look at the $12.5 million wish list Wednesday night.

Treasurer Laurie Witherspoon says administration whittled it down to make it more manageable.

There's now a list of about 40 projects that managers have considered to be high priority.

Council will take a closer look at the short list at a later meeting.

Subdivision Going To Tender

The town of Fort Frances is seeking interested developers for various components of the planned subdivision at the former Huffman School property.

Ads will be place in Thunder Bay and Fort Frances.

Town planner Faye Flatt says the bids will better determine the sale price of the lots.

Tenders will close March 12.

Local Groups Taking Over Concert

Two groups are taking over the planning of the summer concert in International Falls.

Falls Rotary Club and Backus Auditorium will do it with support from the city.

Ward Merrill of Backus says they're prepared to give it a go for at least three years.

Three cover bands are being considered for the July 20th concert at the Irvin N. Anderson Amphitheatre.

Biomass Considered For Thunder Bay Plant

Ontario Power Generation is now considering burning biomass as its coal-fired generating station in Thunder Bay.

OPG suspended work last fall to convert the plant to natural gas.

Plant Manager Chris Fralick says he remains optimistic the plant will continue to operate beyond 2014.