LITCHFIELD – Large convoys of equipment from the former Jovalco site have left the Pontiac in recent weeks. Scierie St-Michel, which operates much of its business out of St-Michel-des-Saints, north of the Lanaudière region, had no intention of opening a sawmill on the site, contrary to the wishes of MRC Pontiac Warden Jane Toller. Toller had declared on CHIP 101.9 FM last March that the Jovalco site would be operational again shortly, and that several jobs would be created by this reopening, as has been the case at Rapides-des-Joachims.
Produit Forestier Jovalco, located at 2460 Hwy 148, Litchfield, has officially been sold, and according to a worker who helped with the move, there’s not much left on the site. “All that’s left are almost empty walls and buildings.” he told the Journal.
—-$1,000,000 price tag
According to the deed of sale, the price was one million dollars ($1,000,000), made without any legal warranty of quality and at the buyer’s risk. The company Scierie St-Michel, represented by Jean-François Champoux, took ownership as of June 9. It includes, without exception, all the movable property in or on the building, which is transferred to the buyer without consideration. This allowed the new owner to occupy and take possession of the Litchfield site and equipment immediately. The Jovalco Deed of Sale also states that all delinquent real estate taxes and transfer taxes have been paid to date without recourse.
In an exchange of text messages, Warden Toller said she was optimistic, despite the most recent events. “I’ve resumed talks and the company I’m in communication with is still interested. They hope to be able to use the buildings that have not been dismantled.” According to some MRC Pontiac elected officials and forest industry players, who asked to remain anonymous, a company building wood pallets is in talks, but no agreement has yet been made. Scierie St-Michel’s intentions for the site remain unknown.
Back in January, following the official announcement of the reopening of Commonwealth Plywood in Rapides-des-Joachims, Warden Toller stated that the next forestry company to reopen in the Pontiac would be Jovalco. The Davidson Energy project was brought to a standstill by the Warden and other economic players, with Toller saying that company representative, Bruno St-Cyr, needed “more work on his business plan.” According to Warden Toller, we should know by next week whether the Jovalco site could have a new buyer, likely in the pallet manufacturing business.
– François Carrier