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New and old business to be discussed at tonight’s council meeting

Tonight’s council meeting will include some compelling business on the agenda.
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FORT FRANCES – The June 10 regular council meeting is looking to put to rest some outstanding agenda items while adding some new business.

Included in tonight’s agenda is the swearing-in of Kalab Firth to fill the vacancy left behind by former Coun. David Kircher.

Kircher resigned from his position after being found in violation of the municipal code of conduct after an integrity commissioner investigated multiple occurrences where he conducted council business without approval through his municipal and personal email.

Firth was offered the council spot shortly after Kirchner's resignation. Council decided Firth was a prime candidate considering he ran for council in the 2022 election.

Furthermore, council will hear from Nathan Young, manager of Recreation and Culture, as he presents his report recommending council pass a resolution to designate the department's Summer Event Series as a municipal significant event.

Young said: "We are recommending that the Summer Event Series be listed as an Event of Municipal Significance to ensure that we can comply with Alcohol Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) requirements and ensure that our event strategy is successful.

“These events are in line with council’s strategic plans of enhancing tourism, develop a draw to promote cross-border visitation, enhancement of the community, and projects that give residents and visitors an exciting activation of programs and events. Additionally, the Summer Event Series is supported by our newly adopted recreation master plan.”

The recommendation follows council’s strategic plan to grow and promote Fort Frances as a cultural space for both residents and tourists by utilizing recreational spaces for movies and concert Nights in the Square, as well as, social gatherings at the Memorial Sports Centre.

“The Summer Event Series in 2024 includes three outdoor concerts, a comedy show, and the Rainy Lake Market Square. As we continue to grow our event offerings, we are hoping to include art walks, culture festivals, and food festivals to the event series,” said Young.

The report stated that the Summer Event Series is geared toward a 19-plus age demographic. The reason is to include a beer garden area for patrons.

“We have identified several permitted locations within the Municipal Alcohol Policy, including the Museum, Rainy Lake Square, Memorial Sports Centre Auditorium, and Ice for Kids Arena. These venues not only offer suitable infrastructure but also align with our commitment to adhering to regulatory requirements, such as obtaining Special Occasions Permits from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario,” the report reads.

In addition to Young's report, he will ask council to consider two upcoming events, a concert in Rainy Lake Square on June 27 and a comedy show at the Memorial Sports Centre on July 13, as municipal significant events.

Council will also vote to install a by-law that awards the Miller Group the tender to host a Hazardous and Special Products (HSP) service provider event where residents can drop off their household hazardous waste.

If passed, the HSP event day will be held on Sept. 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Public Works Division Yard.

Fort Frances and the City of Dryden annually pool their tender for the one-day household hazardous waste disposal day.

The event is said to be very popular within the district because it provides the safe disposal of products that otherwise aren't available to small municipalities in the north.

Clint Fleury

About the Author: Clint Fleury

Clint Fleury is a web reporter covering Northwestern Ontario and the Superior North regions.
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