Brad Mapes is calling on the Town of Hay River to develop land to deal with the community’s housing shortage.
And the Hay River businessman and former mayor has a particular reason to want more accommodations, since he is developing the new AWP Industrial Park in Enterprise.
In a presentation to Hay River town council on Jan. 20, Mapes said there may eventually be over 200 jobs at the site, and he estimated that could mean 600 more jobs from indirect and ripple employment.
For the new jobs at the project site, he estimated that 95 per cent of the workers would come from Hay River.
“I can’t say enough that you need to develop your town,” Mapes told council. “You need to develop lots. And Fraser Place isn’t just enough. You need to develop a lot more than Fraser Place.”
Fraser Place is a residential land development proposed for a section of the so-called Hay River Nature Park in the vicinity of Keith Broadhead Memorial Twin Park.
Mapes noted that by this coming summer there will probably be 40-45 people working at AWP Industrial Park.
“So by October, we’ll probably have about 75 jobs that will be at the site,” he added. “And in the coming two years, we’re probably going to be to 225-230. Now, I’ve said a lot of numbers in the past and I think they’re still conservative numbers.”
The Enterprise project will have various aspects, including a logistics site that will see fuel and other commodities brought north on rail and loaded onto trucks to be taken further north. There will also be a wood pellet mill, a sawmill and more.
Coun. Steve Anderson agreed with Mapes’ concern about the need for housing in Hay River.
“I think as a town we have to look at housing,” he said in response to Mapes’ presentation. “That’s the crisis that we face given these things that are hovering around the top of us. We need to really focus on housing for the community of Hay River.”
Anderson and other councillors also praised Mapes for working for almost nine years on the project in Enterprise.
Anderson commended Mapes for his patience and commitment to Hay River and Enterprise in seeing the project advance.
“I think it’s definitely going to be a great economic boost for the South Slave and surrounding areas,” the councillor said.
Coun. Brian Willows said the project is going to be huge for Hay River.