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The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Thursday, September 1, 2011, 12:12 p.m.
Kimberly-Clark mill closure a terrible idea
Dear editor:
In regards to Tom Hoban’s column in the August Snohomish County Business Journal on the future of the Kimberly-Clark paper mill, it was way off base and one sided with only real-estate interests in mind.
The mill employs around 800 employees and supports several other small businesses in the community for contracted work and local restaurants and such, which would all be lost. This community would be impacted beyond belief from shutting down the mill with all those high-paid union jobs gone and replacing them with a bunch of minimum-wage jobs just so you can improve your view of the waterfront. The facility also has a co-gen plant it operates with Snohomish County PUD that produces power to the Everett community that would be lost and therefore have to be made up somewhere else, meaning higher energy costs for folks. I’m sure the community would love that.
The property would be useless for access to the water because of its location in relation to the Navy base, so the whole area along the water would be fenced off to keep folks from being able to get to the base. Currently the waterfront is watched closely and access is restricted to K-C employees only with no access into the water other than barges with chips.
As far as a view, the builders should have thought of that before building condos above the mill in the first place so I have no sympathy for them.
It would be ridiculous for the City of Everett to purchase the Kimberly-Clark site and level it due to the current economy since it would cost tens of millions of dollars to clean it up and tear everything out. The city doesn’t have that kind of cash to throw around just so you can have a better view and sell your condos for a higher price. I think the voters would have a field day with that one when their taxes went up to fund this project.
The worst thing that could happen to downtown Everett would be for the Kimberly-Clark mill to shut down at this point because the property would sit there for years unchanged due to lack of funds, which would really create an eyesore for the Everett waterfront. The mayor at least looked at this issue without putting his own personal agenda ahead of what’s best for the city, so maybe you should look at the big picture before casting stones.
Jim Jewell current Kimberly-Clark employee, Lake Stevens
Well-paid mill workers boost the community
Dear editor:
As an hourly employee at Kimberly-Clark Everett and a person whose father, brothers, uncles and sisters-in-law all are either presently employed or retired from the Everett plant, I was appalled to read Tom Hoban’s nonfact-based column that was recently published in the Snohomish County Business Journal.
The mill employs 769 full-time employees at this time, plus approximately 200 contractors, a far cry from the 600 your article states. We are on the board of directors of Housing Hope, United Way and Red Cross and our team members are huge financial contributors to each of these agencies. These are living-wage jobs, not the $10 an hour jobs you and your friends supply with your retail outlets.
It is too bad there are actually narrow-minded, selfish people like you in this world who could care less about people’s lives as you strive to make your next million dollars. You should be proud that the article you wrote was circulating around our mill, giving our already nervous workforce, some whom have been employed at this site for over 40 years, something else to worry about.
The employees of this mill, along with most people in this city, hope that a buyer does decide to purchase the site and keep the mill running for another 100 years. We also hope that you and all of your rich buddies move to Bellevue, Redmond or one of the other yuppie communities around the state and leave this beautiful city as it is. We don’t need people like you ruining our community.
Dean Zevenbergen, Marysville

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