Wood chipping facility being proposed

Council throws support behind Westpoint plan

The District of Houston council has thrown its support behind a prospective wood chipper facility here.

The request for a letter of support came from Westpoint Rail and Timber and was presented to council at its Sept. 9 council meeting.

Specifically, council was asked for a letter of support to aid Westpoint’s need to tie into the power line running from BC Hydro’s provincial grid to the Huckleberry mine.

“We are looking at a business opportunity with Canfor where we would employ six to eight guys on one shift,” Westpoint’s Karl Garrett wrote in an email to council.

There are “possibilities of running two shifts. This would utilize all dead timber that no one else uses and chipping it into pulp for Canfor,” he said.

“We would be railing it out and Canfor would deal with the rail section end.”

Houston mayor Shane Brienen said council welcomed the opportunity to show support for a project that would utilize local fibre and provide employment.

“The [support] letter is being sent to Wespoint so it can forward it to BC Hydro,” Brienen said of council’s decision to back Westpoint’s proposal.

Council already wants to meet with senior BC Hydro officials this fall to discuss its ongoing plans to to improve lighting and to place utility lines underground along Hwy16 in the downtown core and the Westpoint proposal might be added to the list of topics.

“But really it’s between Westpoint and BC Hydro regarding the tie-in,” said Brienen.

Westpoint’s Garrett declined to provide more details about its chipper proposal, but did say more information would be forthcoming as its plans develop.

Canfor official Michelle Ward confirmed that preliminary discussions with Westpoint have taken place regarding a potential chip supply.

“We have not made any commitments to an agreement at this point in time,” she added.

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