by Dan McClelland
Tupper Lake Hardwoods is planning to build a new office at it mill campus at 167 Pitchfork Pond Road.
At the planning board's October meeting Manager Chris Dewyea and engineer Kurt Bedore of KB Engineering of Burnt Hills near Albany came before planners to explain the plans for the addition.
Mr. Bedore said plans call for a detached 30 by 40 foot single story building on a slab.
Running through the site plan, he said the building will contain three offices, a storage area and a unisex restroom. It would be situated just to the right of the mill entrance.
The mill was built in 1993- the year that the industrial park next door was created. “It was permitted by the Adirondack Park Agency and has been in existence since then... a great employer in town ever since,” explained the civil engineer.
He said Mr. Dewyea and the mill's corporate owners have wanted to build their detached office building “to improve on the business environment when they have guests and vendors” and away from the noise in the mill.
It would also be situated away from the general traffic flow of trucks and equipment in the mill yard.
The engineer called the mill operation very impressive.
The new office, he said, would tap both a new septic tank and the existing septic tank, which was originally designed to handle a company with 32 employees. Right now there are 17 employees at the mill, with plans to hire three more to work in the new office building.
From a design perspective, the original septic system is very much underused, the engineer told the planners.
A separate septic tank will be installed near the office, with the leaching materials pumped up to the leach flow of the original system, essentially for a double system, the engineer explained.
Water service to the building would come via a one-inch line off the main six-inch line servicing the mill.
The electric service will also be underground from transmission lines on Kildare Road.
The new office headquarters will have four parking spaces allotted to it, plus a handicapped space.
The small office parking lot will be surfaced in stone dust.
It will have a covered entrance of timber frames, sconce lighting, and horizontal and vertical fir siding.
“The owners wanted to make it a little nicer looking as a place of business,” Mr. Bedore told the planning board volunteers.
Tupper Lake Hardwoods Inc. is a subsidiary of Peladeau Lumber of Quebec. The company was founded more than 50 yeas ago by Edward Patenaude and Jean-Piere Peladeau.
It has become a leader in today's hardwood industry. In the early 2000s Greg Patenaude and Christian Clavel assumed leadership of the company.
The new office at the local mill will be built on a concrete frost wall with pad and will be heated with electricity. The building's siding will be tan in color.
Chris Dewyea said in their planning, they wanted to set the office back out of sight from passersby on the town. It will be hidden mostly by the thick tree cover along the road.
Board member Jim Merrihew suggested appropriate signage be installed to guide visitors to the new office.
“We've always had signage but with this new building there will be more,” Mr. Dewyea told him.
The administrative offices are currently situated right inside the mill and with the offices moving to the new building that will free up space for mill expansion next year, Mr. Dewyea explained.
With that expansion, production is expected to grow by 60% starting next year, the manager predicted.
Asked by member boB Collier about plans by the company for a second shift, the manager said he is happy with one.
There was a brief discussion about the lighting around the office and it was noted that it will be all downward directed.
The mill, however, requires a certain amount of powerful lighting around it for safety purposes, Mr. Dewyea noted.
Board members were all very satisfied by the presentation and the proposal, judging by their comments.
“There is no real action required by this board” beyond approving the site plan, Chairman Shawn Stuart told Mr. Bedore and Mr. Dewyea. The approval came moments later that evening.