Log yard activity increases
It’s been just about two weeks since Yaorun Wood inked a 10-year deal with the City of Terrace to lease a portion of the old Skeena Cellulose property on Keith Ave, and already the area is buzzing with activity.
The property had been used as a log yard for the former Skeena Cellulose sawmill and Yaorun is using it as a staging area for wood coming from as far away as Hazelton.
Logs will be assorted according to specific categories in preparing for being trucked to Prince Rupert for export to China.
There are about 10 people working at the site and at least another 20 in the field, said Bryan Halbauer, CEO of Bryco Enterprises which has been contracted by Yaorun to manage the site activity.
“And there will be even more when we start shipping to China,” he said.
Plans for the site include clearing trees which have grown on the land over the last decade of site inactivity, and building a new scale, he said.
The owner of Yaorun Wood Co. Ltd, Gui Liuying, was in Terrace late last week touring the site and meeting with business people here.
His company has been interested in Terrace for a while, and at one point last fall was considering the airport lands for development.
The Chinese wood processing company, which first appeared in the region by setting up shop in Burns Lake and recently completed harvesting on two B.C. timber sale licences in that area, is paying $10,000 a month, or $120,000 annually, to use the city-owned Keith Ave. land.
The city ended up taking over the log yard property because of unpaid taxes and a loan tied to the Terrace Lumber Company which re-opened the Skeena Cellulose sawmill in the middle of the last decade, only to close it after a year.
“The monthly lease and property taxes we will be collecting from this company over the next ten years will add a considerable amount of money to the city’s revenue stream. It’s about $1.6 million dollars,” said Mayor Dave Pernarowski, noting the city could still sell the property in the future and profit further.
The site had been listed for sale at $1.5 million.
“We also factor into the equation the jobs that will be created by the activity on this property and in the forest through logging and log transport,” said Pernarowski in explaining the lease versus sale route taken by the city.
And more economic development is coming, he said.
“This is only the beginning of many new deals coming our way as we work through negotiations with a number of companies interested in purchasing and leasing land in the City of Terrace.”