May 15 is the estimated startup date for the Emerald Forest Products sawmill, according to owner Dick Vinson.

“There’s lots of work going on at the site,” Vinson said.

This includes completing a new stack system, installing new equipment and changes to the dry kilns. Nineteen people are working on construction at the site, he said.

Lack of fire suppression has been an issue for the business since it opened in May 2010. At the time, Vinson obtained a temporary occupancy permit from Gem County Fire District 1. He has been working with Fire Chief Rick Welch on the permit process to reopen.

“Once I have the engineered fire suppression plans, I will send them to the state for approval,” Welch said. “The state will recommend approval or send them back with recommended changes.”

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