Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Council Finalizes Budget

Fort Frances town council is coming in with a budget that includes a levy increase of one-point-eight per cent.

That works out to a tax increase of less than one per cent for residential ratepayers.

Treasurer Laurie Witherspoon says even with recent changes to property assessment, the average dollar amount is less than $70.

Mayor Roy Avis credits administration for being able to keep the numbers down so low.

Council will bring the budget before the public Monday before giving formal approval.

Lot Lottery April 25

File photo
A lottery for the new housing lots on the former Huffman School property will take place next week.

Fort Frances council has finalized the details of the sale and the lottery.

Packages will be made available today with the lottery taking place April 25.

Cost of the lots will range from $51-thousand dollars to $83-thousand.

Fort Frances Asked To Hold NOMA Conference

File photo
Fort Frances is mulling over hosting an annual regional municipal conference next year.

The town has been asked to host the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association's event.

Council initially said no, but rescinded that decision to see if outlining communities will be able to assist.

Dryden Holding Back MPAC Funds

Dryden has decided to withhold a chunk of money it owes to the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation.

Mayor Craig Nuttall says roughly $79-thousand will be put in a trust until MPAC can come up with a fair deal on the assessment of the Domtar Mill.

MPAC dropped the mill's value 72 per cent which could lead to a five-million dollar tax rebate for the company.

New Program For Obstetrics Unit

Supplied photo
A new professional development and performance improvement program is being introduced to Riverside Health Care Facilities.

It's called Managing Obstetrical Risk Efficiently or MORE OB.

Vice-president Lori Maki says it's a team approach to improve care and decreasing the risk of adverse events in the obstetrics unit at Laverendrye Hospital.

A core team is currently in training to help roll it out to other staff.

NDP Claim Tourism Strategy Not Working For North

File photo
The opposition wants to see that the province's tourism strategy is working for northern Ontario.

NDP members point to last year's closure of tourism information centres and the development of tourism apps they say don't work in remote areas as failures of that strategy.

Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell says there's now competition from Manitoba promoting itself with road signs in the region.

Tourism Minister Michael Chan says province is
committed to using technology for its promotional efforts.

First Nations Get Funding To Participate In Environmental Assessment Process

A number of area First Nations communities are getting a bulk of funding made available to participate in the environmental assessment process of Rainy River Resources' proposed gold mine north of Barwick.

In total, eight communities will get a portion of the $166-thousand  put up by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

Metis Nation of Ontario and the Rainy River Soil and Crop Improvement Association are also participating.

Rainy River Resources is hoping to get approval by next summer so it can start construction on an open pit mine by the fall of 2014.

Couchiching Woman Charged In Kenora Assaults

A woman from Couchiching First Nation faces charges following a string of assaults in Kenora on the weekend.

Provincial Police say a cab driver was allegedly assaulted by the 22-year-old and threatened with a knife.

A short time later officers received a call about the same individual attacking another woman who had to be hospitalized for treatment.

Former Area MP Likes Trudea As Liberals Leader

A former Liberal MP for the Rainy River area feels the selection of Justin Trudeau as leader will re energize the party.

Ken Boshcoff was in Ottawa for the leadership convention and thinks Trudeau's star power is a benefit.

Boshcoff says Trudeau has visited the northwest several times and thinks his election as leader will bode well for the region.