Published: March 22, 2017
BY JENNIFER PARSONS
Announcements could be on the horizon in areas of transportation and cottage development for the Ear Falls and Red Lake Districts.
That was the message leaders of the Township of Ear Falls brought back from February’s trip to Toronto for the Ontario Good Roads Association conference and networking event.
Providing an update to Council on Mar. 15 Mayor Kevin Kahoot told those gathered conversations were had with varying ministries leaving him “optimistic” that announcements would be forthcoming on areas of interest for the community.
“We have been beating this up since 2010 but [the Minister] finally said there is going to be an announcement coming out on cottage development and she will be in touch with our staff and office shortly…There is a formal announcement that seems to relax some of the issues,” offered Kahoot summarizing a meeting with Ministry of Natural Resources Minister Kathryn McGarry.
“The only way we are going to build up our tax base pretty much without industry coming in here is to utilize waterfront property we have and bring in people into those type of houses and properties.”
Kahoot also indicated that discussions with the Minister included bear hunt regulation and moose population studies and restrictions.
“Moose hunt issues was a big one we talked about. They seem concerned about moose hunting populations in our area and possible fixes for it.”
The mayor noted additional conversations with government representatives indicated a regional transportation announcement may be in the works that could be favourable to the communities along Highway 105.
Councilor Daniel Sutton also attended the meetings and discussed an ongoing dialogue with the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) over large industrial tax assessments, specifically that which has been issued for the EACOM sawmill.
Sutton noted in his update the community asked if “outside experts” were used in the disputed assessment process.
“MPAC has said that they did use an outside expert for the appraisal of the sawmill. That there are currently no discussions or negotiations going on with the sawmill and that at this point their plan is to stand behind their assessment,” he added.
In response to discussions with the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines related to the need for financing to undertake a water intake project Kahoot said the message relayed from leaders was to keep applying.
“We were urged again to keep applying, we are on their radar…the message to the ratepayer is to keep applying.”