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Forestry company renews efforts
A FORESTRY company which has had financial problems this year is renewing efforts at restarting operations on land it has leased from the city.
YaoRun Wood Ltd., owned by Chinese interests, has new people on site and is preparing to move out logs worth an estimated $3 million which have been accumulating since spring.
“We are going to buck those logs up into 5.9 metres and put them into containers and get them ready to ship to China. Then as soon as we ship it we will get the money from the bank,” said new operations manager Xinchen Song.
His goal is for the logs to be exported from Prince Rupert to China beginning by mid- to late-November.
YaoRun is also three months late on payments to the city for land it has leased on Keith Ave. and Song is saying the company’s accountant will take care of the debt by the end of the month with at least partial payment.
YaoRun late last year signed a deal with the city calling for monthly lease payments of $10,000.
Meanwhile, the city has been looking into taking action if nonpayment continues to be an issue.
“We are considering our options which we are unable to disclose at this time,” said the city’s chief administrative officer Heather Avison last week.
Mayor Pernarowski said he was unaware that YaoRun was three months behind.
“It’s like any other business transaction. Some companies take longer to pay. Maybe that’s something that our staff is working through right now,” said the mayor.
Though he added that leniency would only extend so far.
“If they continue to not pay the lease we would have to take back control of the land and do what you normally do in a situation where any company is not paying their bill and look for someone new to take on that piece of property.”
YaoRun is also behind on stumpage payments to the province for the logging it has done.
The company has been put on a five-month repayment plan by the province but officials say they can’t provide information on whether the plan is working.
YaoRun twice this year had entrances to its logyard blocked by local contractors who said they weren’t being paid for work performed.
The most recent blockade, in September, was conducted by Terrace’s McPherson Trucking.
Company owner Vic McPherson said he was happy to finally receive payment from YaoRun, but that he probably wouldn’t be doing work for the company after having over $10,000 withheld since May.
“You learn from your mistakes,” said McPherson, “don’t keep making them.”
“The only reason I got a little action is because I blocked the road off and then they got excited, so at least I got paid anyway.”
The company was also evicted from a house on McConnell Ave. in the Horseshoe it was using as a business office.
“All the previous employers left the company suddenly and there is nobody working here. We can’t make things happen if there is nobody working here,” said Sung.
Recently another company from Vanderhoof, Zacharias Contracting, was hired.
It is now sorting and cutting logs in preparation for the shipments YaoRun expects to start next month.
The property YaoRun is leasing from the city has had a long history of forest-related activities. It also served as a logyard for Skeena Cellulose which once dominated the industry in the northwest through a pulp mill in Prince Rupert, a sawmill here in Terrace and a sawmill in Carnaby east of the Hazeltons.
That company went into receivership in the late 1990s and various attempts to revive all or parts of its operations were unsuccessful. Its mill was last owned by a local company, the Terrace Lumber Company. The mill has since been dismantled.