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Winter upkeep a concern on highway

The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.

The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.

Flin Flon City Council has been asked to lend its support to efforts to enhance snow removal and winter upkeep on the Perimeter Highway. At their meeting Tuesday, Council reviewed a letter from the Flin Flon and District Chamber of Commerce stating that the current winter work on the highway is not up to par. "The Flin Flon and District Chamber of Commerce is requesting a written letter of support be sent to Manitoba Transportation and Government Services regarding a quicker response to snow removal and general winter upkeep of the Perimeter Highway," read the letter. Councillor Dave Law commented that he hasn't heard concerns about these issues on the highway, and none of the other councillors indicated they had, either. The Perimeter Highway is a provincial road and is therefore maintained by the province. The letter was referred to the Committee of the Whole for further review. In another matter, Council was asked to embrace a recreational initiative said to pump over $100,000 into the regional economy each winter. A letter from the Border Explorers Snowmobile Club asked for support with efforts to officially designate an existing snowmobile trail between Denare Beach and Nipawin. Wayne Elliott, trail coordinator for the club, wrote that the Border Explorers have applied to the Saskatchewan government to designate the trail, which would allow the club to groom and erect signs on the trail so it would meet provincial standards. "The purpose of this initiative is primarily for the individuals' safety," read the letter. "Secondly, the economic spin-off from these travelers amounts to over $100,000 annually in just this region." Elliott wrote that the trail between Denare Beach and Nipawin is the only portion of a circuit of trails in the region that is not currently designated. "The trail between Denare Beach and Nipawin has been traveled by avid snowmobilers for over 30 years and longer by others, including freight haulers," he wrote. See 'New' P.# Con't from P.# Designated trails currently join a number of communities in northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Elliott wrote, including Flin Flon, Wanless, Cranberry Portage, The Pas, Mafeking and Hudson Bay. Councillor Bill Hanson endorsed the club's initiative. "I think that we should back the snowmobile club on this," he said. "It would be nice if we could take off down to Nipawin by snowmobile, and vice-versa." Councillor Law suggested that Council obtain more information about the request before endorsing it. Specifically, he wanted to know why the Cumberland Delta Wildlife Management Committee is not in favour of the trail designation, as the letter mentioned. Mayor Dennis Ballard referred the letter to the Committee of the Whole for further discussion, saying the matter will come back to Council at their next meeting. As well, a motion passed to ratify a new two-year contract between the City and CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) Local 228 and the Flin Flon Recreation Commission. The deal will give the workers a three per cent pay raise in both years of the deal. The contract is retroactive to February 1, 2003 and expires on January 31, 2005. "It's been a long time coming, it's been a bit of a drawn-out process," said Councillor Huntley of the new deal, "but it's good to see it come to its conclusion." Also, the Fire Chief's Report for November was filed. The report noted that there were two incidents last month, both false alarms, while the fire chief completed three fire inspections. In addition, Council voted to purchase a one-page colour ad in an upcoming edition of Northern Experience magazine for $150. The publication will be available at trade shows and other venues frequented by potential tourists.