Houston mayor, Bill Holmberg says today’s final day at the Houston Forest Products mill will be a tough one.
Mayor Holmberg says despite the disappointing closure the impact hasn’t been as terrible as it was originally feared to be.
“It’s not great. Houston has been through these things before with the Equity Mine closure and those sorts of things so we are going to survive. We have got some plans but they aren’t plans that are going to happen overnight. We are still moving ahead and pushing the provincial government through the forest service to hopefully get some more wood into our community forest and attract some other investment and just trying to create an environment where people do want to come and invest in the community.”
He says some people have taken early retirement or have moved for jobs in other towns and others are working in other industries.
“At the end of the day it’s still not a great day. Some people have had to move out of town to work in other operations, I don’t know the exact number of people who are out of work but it’s nowhere near what we thought it was going to be…but it’s still huge.”
He says council and the chamber are working on rebranding the town to attract more industry and residents to the area.