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RR Council trying to get things going in the west end

By Ken Johnston

Rainy River Town Council is, to say the least, disappointed that its neighbours recently declined to meet.
RR Mayor Deb Ewald said Monday that the Town of RR recently invited both Dawson and Lake of the Woods Townships to a meeting to discuss ways they can all work together for the common good.
Ewald said that while several services and facilities are in Rainy River, many of the users of them are from Dawson and Lake of the Woods. Ewald said medical, recreation, dental, fire and library, just to name a few are shared by all.
However, Ewald and Councillor Gord Armstrong said the main topic they wanted to work together on was that of economic development. "We need to get something down in the west end to create jobs. We felt together we could do that," said Ewald.
"We just wanted to talk, but they declined with no reason to come to the table. You can't talk if they won't come to the table. We are very disappointed," said Armstrong.
Ewald said that council wanted to build on past successes. "We had great results with the Locum House and the current fire dept. merger process."
With the declined invitation now pushed to the back burner, Council plans to set up a meeting with Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Michael Gravelle to see what programs or help is available from the province.
"We have tried interns with little success. We were hoping for a fresh approach together, but we will keep forging ahead," said Mayor Ewald.
"We hoped to develop a process that could work together," added Councillor Larry Armstrong.
Other business
•Mayor Ewald said she has began researching getting a Personal Care Assistant college program in Rainy River. This effort spun-off from a recent visit to council regarding the need for Assisted Living in the District.
•Council promoted Town Crewman Mike Scott to Sub-foreman.
•The annual per capita contribution of $7 to Rainy River Future Development Corporation was approved. The total cost to the taxpayers is $5,894 for 2014-15 based on a population of 842.
•Rainy River will contribute $1,000 towards the cost of hiring a full-time employee in Atikokan. The employee will be working on The Path of the Voyageur Project. Councillor Gord Armstrong said it is to encourage tourism along the traditional routes of the Voyageur.
•Town Clerk Vel Vogan received approval to attend the AMCTO Zone 9 Spring Meeting in Thunder Bay May 6, 2014 with expenses paid.
•Mayor Ewald and Councillor Gord Armstrong will attend the Northern Ontario Municipal Association Annual General Meeting in Fort Frances on April 23-25, 2014 with expenses paid.
•The Town will be manning a booth at the RR Trade Show May 10th.
•A letter of support will be written as per request of the RR Soil and Crop Assoc. They asked for support in keeping the Emo Agricultural Research Station open.
•Council also will offer support to the Emo Branch of the Navy League of Ontario in their campaign to keep the 144 Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps of Fort Frances from being put on probation.