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SATSOP, WA-Boise Cascade Corp.’s plan to build a $65-million wood-plastics composite mill at the Satsop Development Park near Aberdeen is riling its would-be neighbor, Internet company SafeHarbor.com.

The online customer support company is complaining that the mill would be too noisy, too dirty and out of place. “We have worked with the (public development authority) for a couple of years now to develop a technology business park–an environment that would benefit us and our people and attract like-minded businesses,” says Sue Cummings, director of marketing communications for SafeHarbor.com. “No one is opposing jobs, but our businesses are very different and we shouldn’t be placed together.”

The proposed mill would be housed in a 250,000-sf facility created from four warehouses left over from a unfinished nuclear power plant. The facility would employ up to 120 people churning out 100 million sf of composite annually.

Boise Cascade spokesman Doug Bartels says his company is still negotiating a lease and waiting on environmental permits, which he doesn’t expect trouble obtaining. He also says his company is planning to take several hundred thousand dollars in additional steps to dampen noise and screen the mill in response to SafeHarbor’s concerns.

Both companies met on September 22 in an effort to resolve differences. Nothing was resolved, but according to Bartels “it was a constructive discussion” that will be followed by several more constructive discussions. But if all goes as Bartels plans, construction on the mill will begin by the end of the year, and open for production in early 2002.

If all goes as planned for SafeHarbor, the mill will either not be constructed at all, or be constructed on the opposite side of the business park. “This business park is huge and there is plenty of undeveloped land available,” says Cummings. “We should be separated in such a way that their business doesn’t detract from the technologies businesses we are trying to attract.”

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