ATHABASCA — As the Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries mill celebrates its 30th anniversary, surrounding communities pitch in to commemorate the prosperity brought to the region.
Athabasca County announced via an Aug. 17 press release that signs celebrating the milestone will be installed along roadsides near the mill, while the Village of Boyle and Town of Athabasca will place commemorative fireplaces in the communities for residents to enjoy.
“Besides being an anchor employer in the region, they’ve also been a strong corporate supporter in the community,” said town mayor Rob Balay Aug 25. “They’ve consistently shown support whenever we’ve asked them for it … and we just want to congratulate them on playing such an important role in the development of our entire region.”
“I can’t even find words for the impact,” added Boyle mayor Colin Derko, who noted the industry presence has allowed long-time community members to watch their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren grow and prosper in their hometown. “The impacts that are not visible are probably the largest and most important impacts in our community, meaning the families that have moved here, the families that have stayed here, the jobs that it’s created for generations.”
The town chipped in $1,000 to commemorate the milestone, while the village kicked in $500, and at an Aug. 10 special council meeting the county upped its contribution to $20,000.
County reeve Brian Hall echoed the sentiments of Balay and Derko, adding they “look forward to their continued success, innovation, and presence in our region.”
Al-Pac representative Diane Smith expressed their appreciation as the three municipalities have been “valued supporters.”
“Their recognition of this proud milestone is meaningful to our company and team members, and it is greatly appreciated. We look forward to many more years of being a part of the fabric of the region,” said Smith via e-mail.