Simpson Lumber Company LLC delivered a blow to the city of Shelton on Tuesday, announcing that the company will close two mills, which will result in about 270 jobs lost. The closures are part of an asset sale agreement with Sierra Pacific Industries of Northern California.

The downtown Shelton mill and one in the Dayton area of Mason County west of Shelton are set to close in the next 60 days. Most of those jobs will be eliminated, according to a Simpson news release. Simpson general counsel Betsy Stauffer said the mills could close June 30, and have possible curtailments before then if there’s a reduction in worker shifts. Salaried and union employees will receive severance benefits, she added.

And there is hope for affected workers. Sierra Pacific plans to build “at least one new, state-of-the-art sawmill and lumber planing operation on the Shelton waterfront site,” the news release states. The new mill is expected to be operational in 2017.

Prior to that, jobs will be created to deconstruct the mill site and build the new one. The new mill is expected to need 150 to 200 employees, said Lisa Perry, a spokeswoman for Sierra Pacific. She said the former Simpson employees are not guaranteed employment at the new mill — they’ll be asked to apply like everyone else, she said — but “experienced mill workers are an asset.”

Simpson will continue to operate its door company in McCleary, which employs 188, and will continue to own its railroad properties, tracks, tidelands and other properties in the Shelton waterfront area. The company is considering options to re-purpose those facilities.

From The News Tribune: