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2014-08-26 at 11:10

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

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By Jamie Smith,

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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The Beaver..... says:
If the City is so noble and honours its agreements then why bother to renegotiate.CN asked to renegotiate and put a price on it but I guess that
day GREED got the better of Hobbs and partners, and now it will cost big bucks to pay for all the Lawyers bills.
The City also has an agreement with its Tax paying Citizens to control cost
and to supply Streets in reasonable condition...what happened to all those agreements
8/26/2014 11:20:54 AM
cob says:
What was the basis for this agreement? If it was for the use of property across which the now unused water mains pass, then why did we not re-negotiate the agreement when we switched to Bare Point? Do we also still provide free water to the reserve? Seems like an awful one way street so far as benefits. Why not make this the point at which the negotiations start, and start by not paying almost a million for a road we barely use?
8/26/2014 11:56:37 AM
ibrando says:
"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 has not obtained water from Loch Lomond for a few years, so why are we still paying on the agreement?
8/26/2014 12:33:48 PM
caesarjbasquitti says:
The City should be looking to build a new bridge to the islands, and the reserve, seems that there is great possibilities in them in the future that has been overlooked.

The City should also be looking at helping redo the road up to Mount MacKay...

...beginning with the former site of the Old Fort on the Kam....
8/26/2014 12:46:13 PM
djs says:
I am confused...I didn't think Fort William got its water from Loch Lomond anymore. Wouldn't that fact make the agreement null and void? Maybe the new agreement could have the FWFN be responsible for Chippewa so that the water is kept clean enough to swim in and the beach is kept clear of goose droppings, etc. Otherwise, how does the road benefit us--besides access to cheap gas.
8/26/2014 1:48:10 PM
fastball says:
Bottom line...that road's gotta get repaired. Period.
The city paid a share of it to get the ball rolling. That's how mature parties usually end up solving disputes - in a cooperative fashion. Everyone pays a little, so no one has to pay a lot.
8/26/2014 2:50:12 PM
p.o.ed taxpayer says:
Well said Jim!!
8/26/2014 3:26:41 PM
progress now says:
Of note:

"That's how mature parties usually end up solving disputes - in a cooperative fashion. Everyone pays a little, so no one has to pay a lot.'

And that is what CN did, it offered $1.5 million.

After the election, the city will have to do a 180 on their lawsuit with CN. This is all political bluster to take the issue out of the election.

Then, as after our last municipal election, admin will be called upon to say the action was "not realistic", and they will take full responsibility for it which means a bonus in it for everyone.

Aren't we getting tired of this?
8/26/2014 6:11:27 PM
combatwombat says:
It would be helpfull to know how much its is to repave a kilometer of roadway.
I have heard its a million a mile to pave from gravel....anyone know??
If so its a small cost over 2 years and if its a shared "city" road, we do have a responsibility.
8/26/2014 3:56:52 PM
Marak says:
Was that road paved 100 years ago? If not why are we paying for re-paving it now? I got no issue with honoring an agreement, but the agreement I'm sure didn't call for a paved road! Fix it up to the original standard, gravel! If it was for exchange of using water from Loch, then it's time to null and void this deal as we now get ZERO benefit from it! What are we getting in return for out million bucks of hard earned tax money from this deal now?
8/26/2014 6:11:13 PM
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