The Tim Hortons franchise in Houston will be owned by Dan Close, who also owns the franchise in Smithers. (Submitted/Lakes District News)

Company building Houston Tim Hortons, hires contractors local to Bulkley Valley area

Expects the building frame to be ready in two weeks

The construction company working on the Tim Hortons in Houston, is hiring contractors and workers local to the Bulkley Valley area according to the project manager for the work.

A new coffee spot in the form of the popular coffee chain Tim Hortons is all set to come next to A&W on Highway 16. The work on the foundation of the building started at 3322 Highway 16 in August. The work is being done by the construction company Pro-King Construction Ltd.

“We are about to start framing so in about two weeks, you will see an actual building there,” said Richard Procee, the project manager with the construction company.

The announcement of the franchise coming to Houston was a cause for celebration for many locals however several also expressed concern over whether the company was hiring locals for the construction and for the franchise, or not.

RELATED: Tim Hortons coming soon to Houston

“I don’t have an exact number because some of the stuff is still kind of up in the air, but what I can tell you is that we are hiring local contractors for almost everything we are doing,” said Procee, adding that for the company, local meant, local to the Bulkley Valley area and not just local to Houston especially since there weren’t as many options for all the different trades needed for the job, in Houston alone.

“We have been dealing with concrete contractors from the Bulkley Valley area, ranging from Smithers, Telkwa, Houston, kind of that whole strip. We have also been dealing with an estimating company from the same area. We are also dealing with a site grading company, so someone is preparing for asphalt, and they are also from that area,” said Procee.

Procee also pointed out that the company was contributing to the local economy of Houston in one or the other either by hiring local people to build stuff or by living there, renting equipment and things and eating out in the local places.

“So really the only things that we don’t use local contractors for, are the very specialized things that are specific to Tim Hortons, it is easier to just use people who are used to doing the same things over and over, otherwise I will have to train new people everywhere I go and it is just not worth the time,” said Procee.

On Sept. 10, there were 10 people working on the site of which only two were not local and rest were local to the area.

“So today, and of course this is only specific to today, but 80 per cent of the workforce there today is local,” he said.

The Tim Hortons franchise will be owned by Dan Close, who along with his family runs the Smithers franchise as well. The family wanted to expand and bring a store to Houston for years and the dream is finally coming true. They first opened the Smithers store in 1998. Several attempts were made to reach the owners for a comment on the project but they are yet to respond.

The construction company is hoping to have the franchise up and ready to run by Christmas.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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