G3 - Public Hearing For Proposed Elevator Near Vermilion
G3 Canada Limited hosted a public hearing for their proposed state of the art elevator near Vermilion at the Legion on August 8. Project Engineering Director, Murray Vanderpont, and Country Operations Director, Bob Beaudry, described the proposed elevator’s facility features, benefits, and listened to concerns from area residents. “Grain elevators have evolved; they’re getting bigger, better, and faster,” said Vanderpont. The company has invested in a Vancouver terminal where they are halfway through construction expecting completion in the fall of 2019, and to be fully operational in the second quarter of 2020. G3 would like to have an elevator near Vermilion to help feed and dovetail the Vancouver terminal, and their investment in the elevator could run anywhere up to $45 million. The proposed facility in Vermilion would house 34,000 tonnes of storage, a concrete work house, two steel bins with cleaners and aeration, and a 134-car loop train track. They would like to move 400,000 tonnes per year. “G3 operates on high efficiency; these elevators can get a Super B in and out in five minutes or less," said Vanderpont. The site of the proposed elevator would be east of Vermilion, west of the weigh station, adjacent to Range Road 61. The reason for choosing that location was that the parcel has to be along a railway, near a major highway, relatively flat with little water, and approximately 200 acres to house the train loop. Approximately 30 acres would be used for the facility with the remainder likely leased to the original owner. “There are two older facilities in the area, but yields are increasing, and we see a potential for someone new to come in,” said Vanderpont. The modern facility would employ 12 - 14 full-time permanent staff with the possibility for part-time/seasonal as well as offering additional employment during the 16-month construction period. For reference, the Maidstone facility was expected to generate approximately 175,000 man hours during construction. Area concerns included maintaining airspace for the Vermilion Airport, accessibility with Range Road 61 being too narrow, but the largest concern was safety and hoping to avoid the traffic coming down the hill from the weight scales. One area resident stated, “With more traffic, noise, and dust our rural lifestyle will not be what it was.” Vanderpont assured residents he was willing to contact the Alberta Ministry of Transportation in an attempt to address their accessibility concerns. Town of Vermilion and County of Vermilion River representatives also discussed their views along with residents and company representatives, and Town of Vermilion CAO, George Rogers said, “I’m hopeful that you will build this facility very close to us. We are a farming community who wants to get our product to world markets. As long as it is environmentally sound and addresses local safety concerns, it will be a benefit to many in this room.” G3 has submitted their development permit application to the County of Vermilion River, but it has not yet had any readings, and the county expects to have a public meeting prior to accepting. “The County is always available to hear your concerns,” concluded Deputy Reeve, Stacey Hryciuk.