Canal Flats council discussed CertainTeed mine’s new location and the possibility of a visitor service location in the village during its December meeting.
During the Monday, December 12th meeting, council members received an update from CertainTeed Gypsum Canada Inc. about its plans to set up a new gypsum mine about 10 kilometres northeast from the village. The company is in the process of winding down its current mine (located east of Windermere where it’s tucked back on a logging road stretching behind Mt. Swansea), which has essentially run its course.
“(CertainTeed) are still going through the environmental assessment process, and I don’t know exactly when that will wrap up, but from what I understand they are looking at starting up (the new mine) in 2018. It’s not that far away, it is creeping up,” Canal Flats mayor Ute Juras told The Echo. “They’ll bring most of their current employees with them, but there is a chance that some of the current workers may opt for retirement instead of relocation, and that may open something up for us. So we are quite excited about this and are looking forward to working with CertainTeed.”
The new mine was first proposed several years ago.
Visitor Centre in the Flats
During the meeting Juras gave a report on the December Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) board of directors meeting, and during her report she touched on the idea of a visitor services booth or centre of some kind in Canal Flats.
“We had one of our residents write to the valley-wide visitors services committee, asking about a location for visitor services here,” she said. “We got an email back from the committee that was bit dismissive.”
Juras said it’s something she plans to bring up at the next Columbia Valley services committee meeting.
“We are paying money toward this (valley-wide visitors) service, and we want to be included, possibly by having a location here,” she said.
Juras added that if the project’s budget needs to be adjusted to allow for that, that is something Canal Flats is willing to talk about.