The unseasonably dry weather has been a help and a hindrance as Sierra Pacific Industries moves forward in building a new $10 million large-log sawmill.
During an interview Jan. 20, plant manager Chris Skinner said that the lack of snow has enabled work to begin on the pad for the new building.
“We are excavating now and then will be bringing in fill and compacting it,” Skinner said. “We were able to start that work ahead of time.”
But though the dry weather has enabled some work to begin early, it will delay other tasks, because logs are continuing to be hauled to the mill.
“We will be processing logs through mid-March,” Skinner said. Original plans called for that work to be completed by mid to late February.
Once the last of the large logs are processed, the old mill will be torn down.
“Since we have a head start on the foundation, we still hope to be finished and starting up the new mill by the end of the year,” Skinner said.
SPI is replacing the old mill because it is outdated and inefficient.
“The new mill be more efficient and have a better layout,” company spokesman Mark Pawlicki said last September when the construction plans were announced.
The old mill employed 49 people and both Pawlicki and Skinner said that the workers would retain their jobs.
Four individuals are maintenance workers and they will transfer to the small-log mill, while the remaining 45 will help in demolition and construction.
In addition to the local employees, the project will bring in specialists from out of the area, such as computer technicians.
But whenever possible, Skinner said, local people will be used. For example, the foundation fill is being provided by Wilburn Construction, of Quincy.
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