Port Moody mill adds shifts
by Diane Strandberg – The Tri-City News
March 7, 2014
The owners of the Flavelle cedar mill are watching Port Moody’s official community plan process with interest but have no plans to sell and move.
In fact, Flavelle Sawmill Co. Ltd., which has deep roots in PoMo, plans to bring the mill up to full operation for the first time in years, says Bruce Gibson, president of real estate assets management.
With the U.S. economy trending upwards and the demand for cedar products growing, Flavelle, owned by Surrey-based Mill and Timber Products Ltd., plans a second shift of 20 employees in the coming weeks, and could have as many as 155 people working at the cedar mill.
“Those are good-paying union jobs,” Gibson said of the positions that will be hired to fulfill orders of cedar products.
The company is not sitting idly by during the OCP process, which is set to have another outing before the public on Wednesday, March 19 at 7 p.m. in PoMo’s Inlet Theatre.
Gibson said the company has contributed to the discussion over the future of the 27-acre site. “As business people, the company looked at it hypothetically, asking ‘What could it be?’” during the visioning process.
Flavelle hired a geotechnical expert, planners and architects to look at the site’s potential, and although subsequent public input has removed any references to building heights and the property, dubbed “Oceanfront District,” will need a development plan before any changes can take place, Gibson is satisfied with the way the OCP process has been carried out.
“It’s just great to see the level of community involvement and participation,” Gibson said.
The draft plan now under review goes to great lengths to describe the future for the waterfront property, suggesting it become a “vibrant, medium-high-density, mixed-use area where the water’s edge is integral to the experience.” It envisions linkages to Rocky Point Park and to commercial areas, the integration of a West Coast sensibility, incorporating an artificial nesting area on the water to substitute for log booms, which provide roosting and nesting areas for wildlife, and the establishment of an institutional/research facility.
But for Flavelle Cedar, the main goal is to produce cedar for construction.
“We’re in no rush to move,” Gibson said, noting that the company’s tax bill equates to 5% of the city’s taxes. “It has to make sense for the parties involved.”
According to the city’s website, Flavelle contributed $1.2 million to the city’s coffers in 2011.