KPly seeking state help to reopen idled mill

PORT ANGELES — KPly Inc., owners are seeking state financing in an attempt to re-open the Marine Drive plywood mill, state and union officials say.

“We’ve been exploring different funding mechanisms, but we haven’t come up with a firm funding plan yet,” said Lynn Longan with the state Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development.

She is the Olympic Region manager of the International Trade and Economic Development Division of that department.

“There’s been no firm decisions,” she said Friday.

Longan said the company has submitted its financial statements, and now she and her staff are exploring potential state loan programs.

“It’s a whole process, but first we need to review their financial statements to see if [loaning money to the company] is a viable thing,” she said.

“We’ve received them, but haven’t reviewed yet.”

KPly issued 60-day layoff notices on Feb. 29 to the state Department of Employment Security and the company’s union, starting a countdown that it will close permanently in 51 days.

The company’s 132 employees, including management, had been collecting unemployment since the mill temporarily shut down on Nov. 2.

Ted Ziegler, president of Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge W2 in Aberdeen, said Friday that he had spoken with officials of Klukwan Inc., which owns the mill, that morning.

He said the owners are interested in re-opening, but won’t be able to without financing.

The company is actively seeking private as well as public financing, Ziegler said.

Phone calls requesting comment from company officials have not been returned.

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