BC Green Pharmaceuticals will establish a work camp in the Princeton Industrial Park to accommodate between 40 and 50 employees who will build its $21.5 million medical marijuana facility.
Princeton council approved a 12-month temporary permit to allow the camp – which will be comprised of trailers – at its meeting Monday night.
Bryan Safarik, company spokesperson, said that while his company attempted to find hotel and motel rooms, it was unable to secure enough bookings that could be used without interruption.
“There wasn’t many vacancies for us to depend on, with tourism, hunting and hockey teams. We really coudn’t find stable places,” he said in an interview Tuesday.
He said some members will use local hotels as they are available.
“We will do our best not to create any issues in the Town of Princeton.”
Safarik said the firm went so far as to explore purchasing individual properties, and even a hotel, to provide housing for its employees “but the numbers didn’t make sense.”
BC Green Pharmaceuticals may build local homes in the future, he said
“We are looking at developing some properties ourselves and I know other people will be developing.”
He said the housing shortage in Princeton is a short term set back “but I think long term we are going to be okay.”
Construction of the plant is scheduled to begin in two weeks, and the camp will be established in three weeks, he said.
“Everything looks good. Our timeline looks like we should be ahead of schedule.”
BC Green Pharmaceuticals recently purchased three lots in the industrial park for $600,000. It plans to hire 95 regular employees before March of 2019, and is anticipating that number will double in the following two years.
During Monday’s council meeting, economic development director Gary Schatz said that a camp environment might be better for the crews than hotel accommodations because it could result in less “drinking in the pub.”
That comment was circulated on social media.
Tuesday Schatz told The Spotlight he was expressing his own opinion, not the concerns of the company. He characterized the comment as “off the cuff.”
Safarik said the question of consuming alcohol was not part of the company’s decision to request permission to build a camp.
“It wasn’t anything to do with that. We are hiring professionals and they are all adults.”