PORT TOWNSEND — Port Townsend Paper Corp. will temporarily cut production by 25 percent and temporarily lay off 20 employees starting Friday night if there isn’t “appreciable rainfall” by that time.
The company is curtailing operations at the mill because of drought conditions that have lowered river levels and depleted city reservoirs.
The company will temporarily shut down its No. 1 pulp machine starting Friday, affecting around 20 of its 317 employees.
Employees were informed of the possible temporary closures late Monday.
They will either take unused vacation time or collect unemployment benefits until significant rainfall allows the company to continue normal operations, company officials said.
“It’s a temporary measure until water levels resume,” said Chuck Madison, PT Paper vice president of human resources.
The mill is Jefferson County’s largest private employer.
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