Allan Frederick
B K B Cedar Mill rebuild being planned

In an interview with The Valley Sentinel, mill owner Raj Basran says he is starting to see some progress on his dream for a complete rebuilding of the mill.

Initial steps toward that end are being made, beginning Monday, Sept. 18, with a small crew of three employees who will continue the clean up of the building, and continue with some of the work already started.

A structural engineer has inspected the old burnt out structure. Approximately forty percent of the building beams will need to be replaced, with the remaining beams passing the structural engineer’s inspection.

B K B Cedar Mill rebuild being planned

Basran indicated that the new structure components have been ordered and are expected to be on site in three weeks. The structure is expected to be up by the end of October, with hopes to be operational, according to the optimistic view of Basran, for mid-December.

The operation will initially involve three to four employees, but Basran hopes to see over time a full shift for 12 employees in the future.

One of the main issues for the owner is there is no commitment to his mill for the fibre that he needs to operate at full capacity, but, he says, it takes time and money to get there. In order to run one full shift Basran estimates that the mill needs to have 8,600 cubic meters. For the next year and initial start-up, he feels that he has enough fibre supply in his yard, plus a contract with BC Timber Sales.

Basran was appreciative of the help and indications from potential suppliers for fibre in the future from the Valemount Community Forest, Carrier Lumber, Gilbert Smith, as well as BC Timber Sales, albeit not in writing, which would assist him in getting financial assistance to rebuild quicker.

“One step at a time for now,” says Basran who almost always has a smile on his face when he talks about the future.