Posted: Dec 17, 2011 8:00 AM by Dennis Bragg (KPAX News)
Updated: Dec 17, 2011 8:00 AM
MISSOULA- Logs are being moved on the former Stimson Mill site for the first time in more than three years with the site's new owners pledging to do everything they can to make the important industrial site productive. And that's setting well with everyone from local government leaders to truck drivers.
Bonner Property Development partners Mike Boehme and Steve Nelson announced they had bought the 169 acre site on Friday morning, completing a deal in the works for months. Both from Montana, the partners are excited about the land's potential.
"Truly we're here to do this for monetary reasons but gosh, wouldn't it be great if we could do something for the community. Maybe help create some jobs and be flexible enough with the people that might be our tenants, when they come in here and just revitalize this site would be just awesome," Nelson said.
The former mill site already has tenants like Northwest Paint, producing finished wood products, and new deals to bring in logs to be chipped, and shipped to a Boise White Paper mill in eastern Washington.
"We all hated to see this mill close a few years ago and it'll probably never be the same thing. We won't be making plywood and probably won't have the lumber mill. But we're doing things with wood and these guys have some great plans," Missoula County Commissioner Jean Curtiss commented.
There are already more than 30 trucks a day rolling in with loads, which means there's new hope for some.
"You go home and feel a little bit of accomplishment, somethings been done right. You got a good repertoire around the community here. People are really excited. You're doing a job here and helping people out. It does feel good," load operator Paul Pascoe told us."
"Everything's been down for so long, it see something come back and get everybody's spirits going again. It's good. Feels good," Yard Manager Rob McKay said.
The news of the Bonner property being put back to work is great news for the men and women who work in western Montana's timber industry. Meanwhile, Boehme and Nelson say they'll be working with new tenants, using the flexibility of local ownership to pursue new ideas.