Ar­gen­tia, Stephenville not un­alike

As for­mer mil­i­tary bases, Stephenville and Ar­gen­tia ideal for in­dus­try: Greene

The Compass - - Front Page - BY FRANK GALE THE WESTERN STAR frank.gale@thewest­ern­star.com Twit­ter: @WS_FrankGale

Port of Ar­gen­tia mar­ket­ing man­ager Ray Greene was a guest speaker at a Bay St. Ge­orge Cham­ber of Com­merce event in Stephenville last Tues­day.

Ray Greene says that if com­mu­ni­ties in this prov­ince pro­mote one an­other on projects in New­found­land and Labrador, then those are projects that ben­e­fit all of us.

The mar­ket­ing man­ager for the Port of Ar­gen­tia made the com­ment while ad­dress­ing the Bay St. Ge­orge Cham­ber of Com­merce on Tues­day, April 17.

He said com­ing to Stephenville was like a home­com­ing be­cause he spent al­most four years in the town, in­clud­ing sev­eral while he was study­ing jour­nal­ism.

Greene told cham­ber mem­bers there are a lot of sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween Stephenville and Ar­gen­tia, as both were for­mer mil­i­tary bases - Stephenville an air base and Ar­gen­tia a naval base.

He said many of the build­ings that were once in Ar­gen­tia were the same style as those in Stephenville, and the lay of the land is sim­i­lar in both lo­ca­tions.

Greene said with a lot of com­mon­al­i­ties, it’s im­por­tant to share in­for­ma­tion, and there are ben­e­fits in repurposing some of the as­sets at the Port of Stephenville. “It’s just as much about in­for­ma­tion shar­ing as pro­mot­ing one port on its own. We want to get the word out that the Port of Ar­gen­tia is open for busi­ness, just as the Port of Stephenville wants to get the same word out,” he said.

Greene said he’s sure some projects are more suited to cer­tain ports, and in that way both gain and the prov­ince gains.

He said Ar­gen­tia, lo­cated within the town of Pla­cen­tia, has about 40 busi­nesses op­er­at­ing within its port, rang­ing from pri­vate to Crown cor­po­ra­tions on 3,000 acres of in­dus­trial land and 6,000 acres of for­est lands.

“We’re strictly an in­dus­trial site now, as all the homes are down and we ad­ver­tise our­selves as a premier in­dus­try sea­port,” Greene said.

He said their vin­tage Amer­i­can bunkers are great stor­age fa­cil­i­ties and de­spite be­ing 70 years old, tanks in the ground are great for stor­ing cal­cium chlo­ride.

“There’s money it them there hills,” he said of the lo­ca­tion of the stor­age fa­cil­i­ties.

Greene also had ad­vice about any build­ings owned by the town, say­ing the pref­er­ence of the not-for-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that runs the Port of Ar­gen­tia is in leas­ing, not sell­ing.

“You can sell as­sets, but once gone, it’s gone,” he said.

Greene said the Port of Ar­gen­tia has what is called the “North­side De­vel­op­ment plan to en­hance site se­lec­tion” and of­fered ad­vice to the Stephenville area to get into site se­lec­tion, as it’s go­ing to be very big in the fu­ture.

He ad­vises tap­ping into the lo­cal CBDC and into ACOA, and tak­ing the show on the road. He said it’s im­por­tant to get on the “site se­lec­tors” list.

“I sug­gest some­one from Stephenville con­nect with this and cer­tainly wel­come ideas for part­ner­ships. It’s a whole new area for us, as there’s a need for lay­down space, and for­mer mil­i­tary bases are ideal for that,” he said.

FRANK GALE/THE WESTERN STAR

Ray Greene, mar­ket­ing man­ager for the Port of Ar­gen­tia, ad­dresses the Bay St. Ge­orge Cham­ber of Com­merce.

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