Bonfield Municipal Council has given the approval to rezone 212 acres within the township from rural to industrial-heavy, clearing one more hurdle for the construction of a new state-of-the-art sawmill and wood processing centre by Industrial Wood Industries, an Ontario based company.
The property is located at Highway 17 and Trout Pond Road in the community of Rutherglen, in the Township of Bonfield.
The site plan development proposal is for the development of a multi-pronged mill facility for softwoods and hardwoods.
The entire cost of the private sector funded project is projected to cost approximately$145 million.
Bonfield Mayor Randy McLaren said there was widespread support from residents who attended a public meeting Tuesday to discuss the rezoning application.
"There were about 60 people there, only about five of which spoke of any concerns they had related to the typical things of any development; traffic, noise, smoke and things like that. Our obligation is to note all those concerns," said McLaren. "Immediately afterwards, we held a special meeting of council, where we approved the application."
The Mattawa-Bonfield Economic Development Corporation has been instrumental in getting the project up and running. The Director of Economic Development says getting rezoning approval is one of many steps in the process leading up to the project becoming operational.
"The surveying has all been completed, it is a requirement for the rezoning," said Donna Maitland." Other studies currently underway that need to be completed include the environmental impact study, the species at risk study and the traffic impact study, which are close to being finalized."
"Once all the permits are in place, they will start doing site preparation. They anticipate that will happen this fall. The plan then is for construction to begin in the spring of 2018 and it being operational in early 2019."
Applications for key positions will be accepted starting in the fall of 2018.