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PTI group vice-president discusses plans for Port Edward worker lodging

Rezoning of the land purchased by the PTI Group for worker lodging in Port Edward has passed the first hurdle, with the project now being put to the public for feedback.

Council gave two readings to a bylaw to rezone the five hectare site behind Jubilee Crescent. Although no date has been set for a public hearing on the matter, which will need approval by the B.C. Ministry of Transportation, PTI Group vice president of business development Sean Crockett said the company is preparing for the upcoming dialogue.

"We do expect to host public consultations where we will provide more details on the project. We're very much looking forward to talking with the community," he said.

"We are also going to make sure our team locally is fully accessible to residents ... we do have a local representative based in Kitimat who also works in Port Edward and we do have office space in the community."

While the time line for development of the site is dependent upon when major projects in the region move forward, Crockett said people shouldn't expect a camp of trailers like the one used at the Rio Tinto Alcan Modernization site.

"It is absolutely not ATCO trailers. Our type of business develops semi-permanent structures that really focus on a superior level of lodging ... we build lodges that are very much turn-key with recreation facilities, dining facilities and high-end accommodations," he said, noting previous PTI developments have included three-story modular lodging.

"By purchasing land and investing in a community, we can create fully operational lodging that also meets the long-term infrastructure needs of the community."

Crockett estimates that the site would create housing for between 1,500 and 2,000 workers, with one employee being hired for every 10 tenants to create between 150 and 200 direct jobs.

In passing the zoning, Mayor Dave MacDonald said he encourages people to come out and share their opinion of the proposal.

"I would invite people to come out to the hearings whether they are a yay or a nay ... I think this is very important and I am glad to have this process in place," he said.

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