Closely held Boise Cascade LLC (BCC:US), a timber and paper producer, plans to close a paper-cutting plant in Salem, Oregon, and fire 101 workers as it prepares to sell the property.
Ninety hourly and 11 salaried employees will lose their jobs, Boise Cascade spokesman Mike Moser said today in a telephone interview. The plant, in which sheets are cut into office paper, will be closed within the next nine months.
City officials in Salem have been studying a redevelopment of the downtown area around the plant. Boise, Idaho-based Boise Cascade helped with the government-commissioned study and decided to sell based on the property's value, Moser said.
``Participating in that study helped us with our decision,'' Moser said.
The facility was inefficient because it started as a mill and wasn't designed for sheeting operations, he said.
Boise Cascade's sheeting operations will be transferred to St. Helens, Oregon; Wallula, Washington; Jackson, Alabama, and International Falls, Minnesota. A box-making plant will remain in Salem, Moser said.
Salem Mayor Janet Taylor said the city negotiated with Boise Cascade to keep the facility open and offered incentives to reduce the cost of relocating to a plant away from downtown.
``Their decision is that work could be absorbed in other existing facilities,'' Taylor said in a phone interview.
The study by the Washington-based Urban Land Institute was commissioned to show Boise Cascade it could sell the sheeting plant and make enough to move to another Salem location, Taylor said. She now hopes Boise Cascade will sell the property to a new developer quickly.
``We want to assist them in any way they need so when they have left the property it does not remain a large empty building right next to our downtown,'' Taylor said.
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