Monday, May 30, 2011

Council signs onto economic development project

The City will be using 200-thousand dollars in provincial funds to carry out a regional economic development project.  The pilot project was part of the Province's 2010 budget and two brain storming sessions will be held in Thunder Bay on June 13th and 14th.  Council signed onto the project at Monday night's meeting.

Multi-Plex process rolls along

City Councillors are weighing their options for funding a proposed Multi-Plex.  Council was given its funding options at Monday night's meeting which include public funding, private and public funding and strictly private funding.  Administration is recommending the City apply for Federal Government funding under the P3 Canada federal grant program.  The public will have their say at a series of public meetings later this week.

Public encouraged to comment on strat plan

The public has until June 10th to comment on the city's strategic plan. A final draft of the plan was presented to council Monday night. The public can receive copies of the strategic plan at City Hall, Thunder Bay public libraries or on the City's website.

Waterfront Hotel and Condos discussed

The group developing the condominiums on the waterfront will be ready to start selling them in October.  The developers made a presentation to City Council Monday night.  Joe Bova says they've had over 80 people show an interest in buying one of the units in the two condos.  Construction could begin in January.  Although the name of the hotel chain has yet to be announced, the developers are looking for a height extension of about four feet.  The hotel would be 26.3 metres high.  Bova says they should be able to announce the name of the hotelier by September.

Council talks Waterfront parking

The Prince Arthur Landing is going to require over 900 parking spaces once the waterfront work is complete.  Councillor Andrew Foulds wanted to know if 900 spaces would be able to accommodate any future growth on the waterfront.  Consultant Alun Lloyd says he's confident there will be enough spaces for any future development, noting the Pearl Street parking lot could be expanded.  Council received a first report on parking along the waterfront at Monday night's meeting.

Beardy slams OPP commendations

The head of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation says a decision to reward some OPP officers last week sends a wrong message to First Nations.  One award was for exemplary performance in the Pikangikum First Nation dispute last year and the other, a bravery award for the officer who shot a First Nations woman in Kenora.  Grand Chief Stan Beardy calls the commendations glorified and unnecessary.

Cash or credit card only please

The Red Cross is encouraging financial donations only in response to the flooding in Quebec and Manitoba along with the wildfires in Alberta.   The organization says response teams are working with authorities to provide emergency help including food and shelter,  and it's only through financial donations that the work is possible.

Wind farm debate hits FWFN

The proposed Horizon Wind Farm project comes up for discussion on the Fort William First Nation Monday evening. Community member Wyatt Bannon says the open house on the project is not enough for him and for others. He says two hours of listening to concerns can hardly be considered consulting with the public. Bannon says he'd like to see the June 6th deadline for voicing concerns extended

Thunder Bay police investigating sexual assault

An alleged sexual assault has city police looking for more potential victims. Staff Sergeant Don Lewis says a 46 year old man who runs a modelling business is charged with assaulting a 23 year old woman.  Lewis says they hope any other potential victims who may have modeled with him come forward. Charged is Luc Paul Despres of Thunder Bay.

Boys and Girls club hurt by crime

Police are looking through surveillance video to find the culprits who broke into the Thunder Bay Boys and Girls club on the weekend. Executive Director Albert Aiello hopes it wasn't done by teens who use the facility. He says the club feels hurt and saddened by the crime which saw two flat screen TVs and two gaming systems stolen. Aiello doesn't know how they can replace the stolen and damaged items

CMHC forecast looks good for Thunder Bay

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is forecasting a strong year for Thunder Bay.  Analyst Warren Philp says we should see a 22 percent increase in total starts this year due mainly to an increase in multi family dwellings.  Philp says there has been a demand for condos in Thunder Bay for the past couple decades that hasn't been met yet.  Philp says the resale market should stay strong as well.  

Local video stores not on the selling block

The Blockbuster video stores in Thunder Bay are not being sold.    They are not on the list of 146 Blockbuster locations  in Canada that are being closed.   It was released by the receiver Grant Thornton.  The targeted stores will be sold to make the video rental chain more attractive on the market.