One important stakeholder and partner for Pölkky is the municipal organizations in our places of production. For example, the extensive investment and training program carried out in recent years at the Pölkky Taivalkoski sawmill has gone particularly swiftly, thanks to effective municipal cooperation. Based on our experience, Taivalkoski municipality is an excellent partner in business development cooperation, as they are a good example of a forward-looking, positive attitude.
Cooperation with Taivalkoski municipality has been going on for a long time. It started in 1997, when Pölkky bought the Taivalkoski sawmill from Enso Oy. The Taivalkoski sawmill operated for a long time under the name of Ulea Oy, but today it is part of the unified Pölkky.
As part of a long and fruitful cooperation, Pölkky together with Taivalkoski municipality owns Taivalkosken Voima Oy, which produces district heating from Pölkky’s production side streams, e.g. sawdust and tree bark. District heating heats Pölkky sawmill’s own premises as well as the premises of Taivalkoski municipality, and district heating is sold to the residents and companies situated in the Taivalkoski agglomeration.
There has always been an open discussion with the representatives of the Taivalkoski municipality, such as the mayor and the technical director, in the spirit of partnership, about future projects already in their early stages. Naturally the investments have required e.g. building permits, but they have also had an impact on land use planning and infrastructure, such as roads. Occasionally the need may have also been related to finding a suitable workforce, for example.
In Taivalkoski municipality, the cooperation has also been perceived as fruitful and functional. The technical director of the municipality, Varpu Paakinaho-Heikkinen, says that although there have been personnel changes on both parties during the years of cooperation, the cooperation has always been characterized by a good spirit of solidarity and looking to the future. The municipality representatives have not wanted to forget things in the wheels of bureaucracy, but decisions have been made on a fast schedule if the progress of the projects have required it.
“Since we are a small municipality, we are also agile in our own way, and we get things quickly to decision making. In the most recent building permit hearing, the members of the technical board jointly agreed that it is a great thing that there are such companies located in our municipality that choose to invest in Taivalkoski,” says Paakinaho-Heikkinen, and continues:
“Cooperation with Pölkky is very smooth. We can discuss even big things, and they share their own ideas. For example, the industrial area plan has been developed in accordance with what has served the companies in the area. In addition, it is also important to hear how things are in general. The Pölkky people are positive about the future and openly share both their worries and their joys.”
The coat of arms of Taivalkoski municipality presents a forest and a traditional saw – the importance of forestry work and forest industry to the region has been strong historically. The well-functioning cooperation between the operators in the area guarantees the continuity of this industry in the area in the future as well. From Pölkky’s point of view, the investments in the Taivalkoski sawmill will keep the sawmill operating successfully in the region for decades to come – and a functional partnership with the local municipal organization supports this vision.