Thursday, December 5, 2013

Pellet Plant on the Drawing Board for Tolko Lavington

As in many things in our community, everything hinges on whether the Agricultural Land Commission will allow an additional ~2 acres at Tolko's Lavington facility as Non-Farm Use on their 7 acre parcel.  Five acres of Tolko's Lavington property already has permission for non-farm use.

IF--and it's always a BIG if--the ALC allows the application, a pellet plant is in the works.

Historically unswayed by the prospect of nearly 30 full-time new jobs at the plant and 15 full-time trucking jobs, the ALC will hear Tolko has sweetened the offer by proposing that 35.8 acres of vacant land they own in Spallumcheen go into the Agricultural Land Reserve. 

New Jobs--or new farming, for that matter--is never "a given" with the ALC.

Reminds me of when our 15.11 acre property was an apple orchard.
Without digging through files to reacquaint myself with the year, we wanted to build a second house here for my parents.
Since a sliver of land all along our road frontage on Buchanan Road was in the Agricultural Land Reserve (but the other 96 per cent) was not, we had to apply to the ALC for subdivision.
For various reasons, we chose not to apply for the only other acceptable route--Homesite Severance--to achieve that.

And we were advised to "sweeten the deal" by planting more apple trees than we were removing.
Made sense.

We would remove 40 or 50 apple trees to build my parent's house (they liked the idea of having orchard around them on three sides), and plant almost 100 new trees on then-bare land near the edge of the existing orchard.
To make a long story short, the ALC said "no" to us.
Parents ended up buying ~7 acres on Silver Star, so we relegated to the woodstove the 40 pages of paperwork accumulated in six months.

I hope the ALC says "yes" to Tolko's plan.
So does Coldstream mayor Jim Garlick, acting as Tolko's acting communications manager, nudging aside Tolko's actual acting communications manager Janice Lockyer.

The prospect of new permanent full-time jobs is the second good news in Coldstream in a while.
A long while.
The first was the prospect of amalgamating two mayors/councils and three administrations (including the regional district) with the City of Vernon, considering there are only about 58,000 people residing in the area.

It's said that good things come in threes.

"Two down, one to go," says Kia. 

Forgetting for a moment that large industry province-wide is seeking relief from onerous property tax rates, Coldstream's mayor sees sugar plums for the municipality's coffers. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share YOUR thoughts here...