Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Capital Budget Close To Being Finalized

This year's capital budget for the town of Fort Frances is all but set.

Chief Administrative Officer Mark McCaig says following the elimination of some items and identifying different funding sources for others, the $ 8 million list has no need for any long-term financing and will have no impact on the operating budget.

Some of the projects are contingent upon the town receiving government assistance.

About $3.5 million would come various reserve funds, if the town did all of the projects identified, reducing the amount the town has to about $7.4 million by the end of 2014.

Take-Over Bid Heads To Court

Goldcorp is denying allegations it breached any confidentially agreement it had Osisko Mining.

A Quebec court has set March 3 to the 5 to hear the matter.

Osisko alleges Goldcorp misused confidential information in making ts $2.6 billion take-over bid last month.

The offer was to expire February 19, but Goldcorp has now giving Osisko's shareholders until March 10 to consider.

Ombudsman Looking At Hydro Bills

Hydro One's billing practices will be the focus of attention by Ontario's Ombudsman.

Andre Marin says ongoing complaints have forced him to delve deeper into the transparency and reliability of the Utility's billing system.

Marin says many of the complaints his office has received are about bills that have been incorrect, excessive, unreasonably delayed - or "estimated" based on unclear criteria.

Assistance Program Expanded

Spiking fuel costs in Minnesota have prompted Governor Mark Dayton to expand a heating assistance program.

Dayton says a change in eligibility means an estimated 120-thousand more households will be able to qualify.

The State is also looking for more help from Washington.

Despite an additional $15.8 million announced last week, the program is expected to run out of money sometime in March.

Co-Chairs Named To Head Water Study

Two new co-chairs have been named to lead a study team for the International Lake of the Woods Basin.

The Canadian co-chair is Dr. Paul Pilon, who has served as a liaison with the Rainy Lake Control Board and Rainy River Pollution Board.

Mark Brigham has been named the American co-chair.

The study team is look at nutrient enrichment and algae blooms, invasive species, and ground water contamination around the Basin.

New Administrator Named

International Falls council has selected its new city administrator.

Ken Anderson is expected to come on staff by March.

Anderson last worked as the head of planning and zoning with the city of Cross Lake, Minnesota.