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Budget discussions begin tonight

By Randy Thoms Nov 20, 2023 | 4:13 PM

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A special meeting of Fort Frances town council has been called to discuss the 2024 budget.

The capital budget is on the docket for tonight’s meeting.

Almost $20 million in spending is proposed.

This includes four million connected to projects planned but not carried out or completed this year for various reasons.

Another two million in projects are listed but may not happen if the town can not fund government funding.

Upgrades to the museum and firehall and a new sidewalk on Keating Avenue are among the items on that list.

This includes rehabilitation of the pool at the Memorial Sports Centre, Sunny Cove Camp improvements and repairs of the damage caused by the 2022 flood.

A report from administration says the goal this year is to align the capital budget with the recently approved Strategic Plan.

The top priority areas are Quality of Life through the Memorial Sports Centre, Parks, Museums and Sunny Cove Projects; Municipal Services and Infrastructure; Economic growth through the Woodyard development project, as well as the Microgrid study and Partnerships.

The draft capital budget was compiled by each division manager presenting its needs and wants to the Senior Management Team that determined which projects could be delayed without impacting the public,

Past ranking of high, medium and low priorities was not used this year.

Administration’s reports states all projects brought forward are being considered high in priority.

The list includes two major road projects – Third Street West between Central and York Avenues and Scott Street between Reid and Mosher – totaling almost $5 million.

Approval of the entire list would drain more than $3.5 million out of reserve accounts, leaving an estimated $18.4 million at the end of 2024.