By Ron VandenBoom
by Ron VandenBoom
Thursday, May 20
A picture from an old calendar hangs on the wall at Pacific Steel and Recycling, just as it has for almost a century.
Its exact age is hard to determine since the calendar portion of the picture has long ago disappeared, but on the bottom of the picture is a three-digit Havre phone number, the locations of Pacifics only three stores, and the words we shoot straight.
Doug Erhard, manager of Pacific Hide and Furs Havre operation, still uses the phrase as a company motto in fact, its embroidered just above the bill of his work cap.
To Erhard the phrase is more than just a motto. To him the words are a way of doing business. We shoot straight means the customer can expect honest and fair dealings when buying or selling at Pacific.
An example of Pacifics dedication to the motto will be seen this Saturday, May 22, when a special grand opening will celebrate the completion of a new retail showroom and drive-through recycling area at its east Havre location.
Anyone who wants to donate their aluminum cans on Saturday, Erhard said, we will match their donation and contribute the money to Optimist Park.
Pacific will also donate five cents for each pound of cans brought in during the week of May 17-21. Erhard said the money donated would be used to help rebuild the baseball park, dugout, and stairs at the park.
It is a cause Erhard believes is important to the community and particularly to Havre youth.
I think everybody needs to keep in mind that idle hands are the devils workshop, Erhard said. Were a big supporter of Havre Youth Hockey and were a sponsor of a soccer team. These are all great things for our community and our children, (who) 15 years from now will be our community.
Erhard is also offering visitors free doughnuts and coffee in the morning and during the lunch hour hamburgers and hot dogs will be on the menu.
Visitors can also try their luck at winning a truck tool box valued at more than $400 by guessing the number of aluminum cans in one of Pacifics compressed bales.
Company representatives will be on hand to answer any questions about and give insight on any of their other 36 locations.
Representatives from the Buck Stove Company, Redneck Trailer Supplies, and Gallagher Power Fence Company will also be on hand to answer questions.
Were going to have a busy day that day, Erhard said of the grand opening.
Buck Stoves will be the only new item that Erhard said would now be available through their new retail showroom.
The showroom, located just north of the office, will offer customers much the same merchandise customers of Pacific Steel and Recycling have always been able to get, but there will be more of a selection, Erhard said.
Most of the stuff we sell will go hand in hand with the customer that comes in here to buy steel and farm products that weve always sold, he said, Welding supplies, grinding supplies and metal working materials.
There will also be farm related products like tools, electric cords, and supplies in the retail showroom.
Were not taking on a whole bunch of new lines, Erhard said, Were just expanding on the lines that weve always had.
Erhard described the reasons for the undertaking as a desire to expand into hardware and the recycling portion of the business.
We wanted to make it more convenient for our customers and easier to recycle, Erhard said.
With that in mind, Pacific Steel and Recycling has also made its recycling business more convenient by adding a drive-through. Recycling customers can now drive their cars directly into the building and unload recyclable items without having to put up with the weather.
Work began on the remodeling in October 1998 and has been done mostly by the eight employees who work at the Havre location.
Future plans include landscaping on the south side of the building to make it more attractive to visitors coming into Havre from the east.
We need to make a good impression on people when they first come in from the east, including some greenery, Erhard said.
Pacific is open 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday - Friday, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.