Tbnewswatch Local News
2014-08-26 at 11:10AM

City honours old agreement with First Nation, pays for chunk of Mission Road repairs

By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- The city is honouring a century-old agreement with Fort William First Nation, but it may look to renegotiate the deal after paying nearly $1 million for its share of Mission Road.

The original agreement asked for the city to pay a share of the road costs as compensation for the town of Fort William getting its water supply from Loch Lomond.

The city previously paid a portion of that road’s maintenance in 1979 and 1993.

The First Nation is now rehabilitating a 3.1 kilometre stretch of Mission Road for about $3 million. On Monday night city council approved a $985,000 share over the next two years. 

"At the end of the day we do have an agreement," city manager Tim Commisso said.

Infrastructure and operations manager Darrell Matson said the city does still have assets in the Fort William First Nation community and plows in the winter.

But after this recent cost-sharing, administration may look to negotiate a more modern agreement in the future.

Mayor Keith Hobbs took the opportunity to take a shot at CN, which is currently in a battle with the city over a 1906 agreement to maintain the James Street swing bridge.

"The city honours its agreements" he said. "I wish others would do the same."

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