Rivercorp is on the job

Rivercorp is working with Catalyst Paper to bring work back to the shuttered pulp and paper mill site

Rivercorp is working with Catalyst Paper to bring work back to the shuttered pulp and paper mill site.

Since the company announced the permanent closure of the paper mill last July, there has been much discussion over what to do with the Catalyst property.

Most recently Rivercorp has taken up the crusade to help Catalyst find a new tenant.

“Some things are inherently confidential, but I can openly say we’re working with Catalyst to help them in whatever way possible to bring back business to that site,” said Vic Goodman, Chief Operating Officer of Rivercorp, the city’s economic development body.

Rivercorp’s second quarter operations report acknowledges the organization is working with Catalyst to identify and attract possible light and heavy industrial firms to bring their business to the old mill site.

Rivercorp has also been helping Catalyst with research and facilitating meetings between the two parties.

This is the second time in just a few months that the issue of how best to utilize the land has come up.

In March the city floated the idea of using the former mill site, and nearby ash dump, as a new municipal landfill site to accommodate the near-capacity Argonaut Road dump.

A group of nearby residents strongly objected to that proposal and the idea of having a garbage dump on the ocean.

The site will likely not be converted into a landfill after a report from consultants, prepared for the Regional District’s solid waste committee, recommended the district look at different options for waste management.

Catalyst has not made any move to dismantle the former mill site or clear out the area, leaving it available and ready for another industrial operation.

Catalyst said last year it chose to close the Elks Falls site, just north of the city, because of a decline in commodity paper markets and uncompetitive labour and tax costs.

In its heyday, the mill employed more than 1,000 workers.