Industrial laundry facility possible for Thornhill land

The location would provide services for LNG construction workers based elsewhere

An industrial laundry facility is one of the top priorities for the Edmonton company that plans to build semi-permanent work camps in Kitimat and Port Edward and which recently bought land in Thornhill, according to their CEO speaking at a Terrace city council committee of the whole meeting May 1.

PTI Group CEO Ron Green said the property just off Hwy37 South and north of the Churchill Drive subdivision will likely be used for infrastructure to service large camps elsewhere.

“We need a laundry,” said Green. “It would make sense to put it centralized to where the projects are and that would make Terrace a good choice.”

He said afterward a laundry facility would be approximately 4,000 square feet and would process the bedsheets and other items from work camp rooms transported in mass loads from camps.

Terrace is too far from the planned accommodation camps to house construction workers for planned LNG facilities in either Kitimat or Prince Rupert but the Thornhill property could be used for services needed at those other locations, he said.

Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine planner Ted Pellegrino, who was also at the meeting representing the district with others, said the regional district doesn’t currently have zoning regulations for industrial laundry facilities.

“We would have to create a zone designation around that,” said Pelligrino, adding that would have to be an addition to the current zoning or the creation of a new zone.

PTI vice president of business development Sean Crockett told Terrace council during his presentation that it aims to build confidence and familiarity with the company before any development, a timeline for which he said the company doesn’t yet have.

Currently the approximately 93-acre area now owned by PTI is zoned residential and was designated as a potential area for residential development by the regional district.

There are several logistical considerations are on the table besides the laundry facility, Green said.

Clients desire air service for their workers, he said, which means that all the luggage gets transported separately while workers are bussed to the airport for their flights.

The staging area for this service, which reduces crowding, could be located on the Churchill land, he said.

“You’re going to see a tsunami of people coming in and your airport is going to be well taxed to support to keep up,” Green continued.

Green said PTI has not ruled out putting out some form of temporary accommodation at the location for workers in between work assignments.

“We have talked about transition rooms, as well, 300-500 rooms potentially that could end up supporting tourism up here eventually,” he said.

Crockett gave an initial presentation that showed PTI as an international company that had done worker accommodation projects in several countries and that stays in communities for at least 10 years.

He said worker accommodation reduces strain on housing and helps communities experiencing booms to ride out the highs and lows that are inevitable during large-scale industrial development and operation.

In response to a question from city councillor Bruce Bidgood question as to whether there could be a component of affordable housing worked into the development, Green said that he wasn’t sure but that the facility could lend itself to senior housing or student housing afterwards.

“We are in a position to do long term housing for seniors, we have that sort of infrastructure in there. It could be transitioned into a care facility,” he said, stressing that anything like that would have to be part of a project undertaken by another entity.