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Slate of upgrades, development projects planned in northwest (5/02)

The provincial government will spend $2.7 million in northwestern Ontario to create and sustain more than 100 jobs.

The provincial government will spend $2.7 million in northwestern Ontario to create and sustain more than 100 jobs.

Jim Wilson, the new minister of Northern Development and Mines, says 11 projects will receive funding that will leverage a total investment of more than $5.5 million.

Wilson made the announcement in Thunder Bay last week.

"My job is to champion your concerns and your wishes and your visions at the cabinet table," Wilson said.

The projects receiving funding include:

* $647,100 for reconstruction of Stevens Avenue in Marathon. The $1,361,700-project includes resurfacing, sidewalks, water mains and sewers.

* $66,000 to the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corp. for the installation of a videoconferencing network in Northern Tribal Council offices throughout Northern Ontario.

* $45,365 to the Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishnabek (Rocky Bay) First Nation for the development of a business plan to assess the potential for a processing facility that would tap into the local white birch supply. The study is expected to take five months to complete, at a total cost of $120,365.

* $1,197,900 to Fort Frances to complete the development of La Verendyre Scenic Parkway. Completion of the $2,390,000-project is expected later this year, in anticipation of the town’s centennial celebrations.

* $157,554 to the University of Guelph/New Liskeard agricultural station for a five-year research project that will evaluate the growth of different hybrid poplar varieties at the Emo site, using paper mill organic waste as mulch. One of the goals of the project is to develop a local source of feedstock for the forest products industry in the Rainy River District.

* $147,400 to the Rainy River Futures Development Corp. for installation of draining tiles on agricultural land in the area. The land-improvement project will cost $418,500 and will result in the tiling of 500 farmland acres.

* $125,976 to Ear Falls to purchase a rescue van and wildfire equipment. Total cost of the purchase is $167,986.

* $100,000 to the Township of Lake of the Woods for local infrastructure improvements, including road upgrades, a better well-water supply and new firefighting equipment. Total cost of the project is $133,300.

* $100,000 to the Township of Dawson for local infrastructure improvements including road upgrades, converting a municipal garage into a fire hall, heating-system improvements, a new well for filling fire trucks. Total cost of the project is $133,300.

* $74,010 to Ear Falls to resurface local streets. Total cost of the project is $98,680.

* $39,000 to Fort Frances for its Re-Inventing Fort Frances feasibility study. The study will study tourism a primary industry for the area, and recommend an infrastructure development plan.