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Dentist set to practise here in January

By Ken Johnston

Council meeting may have been a day late last week due to the Remembrance Day Holiday, but they still had a busy agenda.
The best news of the evening came during committee reports when Mayor Deb Ewald gave the Medical Centre Report. “We have met with (dentist) Michael Christianson and it looks like he is interested in coming to Rainy River on a part time basis!” However, Ewald said that there needs to be work done to the dental office at the clinic. “We discussed upgrades that are needed and are working to get them done.” Ewald said that if all goes well Christianson will start practising in Rainy River mid to late January!
Pension concerns
Council received a delegation from Fort Frances retired mill workers. They expressed concerns about the future of their pension plan pointing to the fact that the mill has been taking contribution holidays and that there is a shortfall in the fund. With mill shut-downs and employees leaving the company, the retirees are worried the company may go bankrupt and that the pensioners would lose their pensions.
The workers asked Rainy River Council to follow the lead of Fort Frances and Emo councils and write a letter of support asking the government to take political action to protect the pensioners future.
Council agreed to review their request and get back to them.
Public Works
Chairman Larry Armstrong reported that he is hoping to set up a meeting with the town crew to draw up a plan for work over the next year.
Armstrong also expressed concern that it has been two months since the CN fire and it is still not cleaned up. Town Clerk Vel Vogan said that the contractor was supposed to start on Nov. 10th but the 3/4 inch of freezing rain put a damper on it.
Other business
•Council passed a motion to release $75,000 to the locum house project. It was money already committed by the town. “They need capital to continue with construction now and fund-raising efforts will continue,” said the Mayor. The locum house is a project being constructed on the river to provide quality housing for visiting locum doctors in Rainy River.
•Deputy Mayor Larry Armstrong was sent to the Chamber of Commerce Christmas Party with expenses paid.
•Main St. will be close from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. on Dec. 8 to accommodate the annual Christmas Extravaganza and parade in Rainy River.
•Council passed a resolution asking the province to reconsider its decision to put converting the coal power station in Thunder Bay to natural gas on hold. Council is concerned that the impending mining boom will result in higher demands for power and that the province will leave the area short of power.