Monday, April 11, 2011

Slew of contracts awarded

The City of Thunder Bay went on a spending spree at Monday night's meeting.  A series of contracts were awarded for a variety of projects.  A four million dollar asphalt resurfacing contract is going to Taranis Contracting.  2.2 million will be used to replace a sewer and watermain project.  Taranis Contracting had the lowest bid for repairing the James Street Bridge with the contract coming in at 1.5 million dollars.  The latest waterfront contracts came in at 350 thousand and 4.6 million respectively.

Cultural plan released

The City's Cultural Plan continues to grow and change.  A draft plan was presented to council Monday night.  From now until May 9th the public and council are encouraged to review the plan and comment on what they would like to see changed.  The plan recommends including cultural diversity in public places.  It also suggests fostering the city's youth entrepreneurs.

LRCA facing funding shortfall

The Lakehead Region Conservation Authority is facing a funding shortfall.  The LRCA is short on cash because of changes to the Ministry of Natural Resources funding.  The group wants City Council to petition the government to provide more money for their initiatives.  The Conservation Authority is also applying for funding from another provincial infrastructure program.

More deputations on wind farm

Thunder Bay residents who are against the Horizon Wind Farm project made another plea to City Council to scrap the settlement with the company.  Three deputations on the ongoing issue were made Monday night.  Representatives from the Loch Lomond Ski area are concerned turbine parts won't fit on the Loch Lomond Road.  Another deputation made mention that Horizon Wind's renewable energy application to the Ministry of Environment was returned because it was incomplete. Council is expected to ratify the settlement agreement Monday evening.

Drug strategy presented to council

Being an addict is not a crime. That's what JP Levesque from the Drug Strategy Committee had to say to members of council. Thunder Bay's City Council spent over an hour listening and talking about the drug strategy. The committee brought the city up to speed on what they think should be done to improve the quality of life for those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol.  Council approved the strategy Monday night.  Administration will review the strategy and come back in July with recommendations.

Wilson talks forest tenure

Thunder Bay's Chamber of Commerce President isn't pleased with the Provincial Government's review of Bill 151.  Harold Wilson was in Toronto on Monday for the provincial hearings on forest tenure.  Wilson is disappointed with how the hearings and forest tenure bill were handled.  Wilson urged the committee to limit the forest management corporations and conduct a review in five years time.

Strat Plan takes shape

Thunder Bay City Council wants to hear from you.  A series of public consultation sessions on the Strategic Plan start Wednesday night.  The strategic plan guides the city's priorities for the next four years.  Wednesday night's meeting is at the DaVinci Centre from 6:30 until 9.  Thursday's is at the Italian Cultural Centre.

L-U Student Union to hold new vote

Officials at the Lakehead University Student Union are to hold new student elections. Spokesperson Chris Vaillant  says it's because the last election was ruled invalid by the LUSU board after a person was caught on a surveillance video stuffing a ballot box.  The new election will be held in September.

First "saltie" on its way

The first ocean going ship of the season is on its way to port.  Shipping official William Hyrb says the Aragonborg is to  arrive around 5 a.m Tuesday and will dock at Canada Malting. He says the Dutch ship is brand new,  only being delivered last year.  A welcoming ceremony will take place in the afternoon.

Election signs vandalized

Campaign workers for two local candidates are replacing damaged election signs. Signs for Richard Harvey and Bruce Hyer on North Court Street were vandalized sometime overnight. Hyer's spokesperson Maurice Grinstead says it's part of the campaign and he doesn't worry about it. The signs have been replaced. A spokesperson for the Harvey camp won't speculate on who may be responsible. The manager for the Yves Fricot campaign says they are dealing with similar problems throughout the city and doesn't know who is responsible for the vandalism.

No overspending for elected councillors

It appears the current city councillors have no worries over their election expenses.  Figures from the City Clerk's office show that all of them were well within what they were allowed to spend during last year's civic campaign. That goes from almost 13 hundred dollars for Mark Bentz to 12 thousand dollars for  Paul Pugh.   The deadline for submitting election costs was March 25th.  Only Mayor Keith Hobbs asked for an extension, which he's allowed to do, so he has until June to submit his expenses.

RFDA launches spring food drives

The Regional Food Distribution Association is gearing up for two major food drives. Executive Director Volker Kromm says the RFDA will be getting help from both Superstore and Canada Post. Kromm says most of the food collected during Holiday drives has been exhausted and the need for more food is rising. Superstore will be donating food through its Spring into Action food drive and Canada Post will be collecting food curbside across the region Saturday.

France plays leading role in Ivory Coast: prof

France is quickly becoming one of the biggest players on the international stage. Lakehead University Political Science Expert Laure Paquette says with French Special Forces Soldiers capturing the Ivory Coast, France  has become interventionist. Paquette says the biggest question is how the new leaders of the Ivory Coast will treat the former government leaders now that strongman Laurent Gbagbo has been arrested.

Damage claims coming in from hailstorm

Insurance companies in the city are expecting lots of calls this week.  Sunday's hailstorm has caused numerous damage claims for home rooftops and vehicles according to Bill Covello of Philpot and Delgaty,  who  says it appears the north side of Thunder Bay received the brunt of the storm

Johnson wants golf study again

Don't be surprised to see a rift develop over the city run golf courses. Councillor Rebecca Johnson has already gone public with her concerns about the deficit the courses pile up every year.  She feels the city should get out of the golf business altogether.  Mayor Keith Hobbs is also in favour of selling all or some of the city courses.

City sees first Thunderstorm of the year

Thunder Bay saw quite the light show last night.   Our meteorologist Bill Laidlaw says a storm rolled through the area and brought with it rain, hail and a fully developed thunderstorm.  Laidlaw says the storm dumped as much as 11 millimetres of rain on the area.