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SATSOP, WA-After months of controversy, Boise Cascade has signed a lease that will allow the company to build a $70-million woods-plastics composite mill at the Satsop Development Park located near Aberdeen.

The 30-year lease, valued at $14 million, includes four pre-existing warehouses left over from an unfinished nuclear power plant, as well as nearly 13 acres of land. Boise Cascade plans to convert the warehouses into a 250,000 sf facility that will employ 120 people and churn out 100 million sf of composite annually.

The proposed plant initially drew heavy protest from SafeHarbor.com, an Internet company that will be Boise Cascade’s neighbor. SafeHarbor officials complained that the mill would be too noisy, too dirty and out of place in the development park, which SafeHarbor viewed as a business park geared toward high-tech companies.

Boise Cascade is planning to spend several hundred thousand dollars to dampen noise and screen the mill in response to SafeHarbor’s concerns. But to eliminate any problems, the Grays Harbor Public Development Authority helped negotiate an agreement in which SafeHarbor will be allowed to move to another area of the park should it become necessary.

Officials at Boise Cascade say they hope to begin construction on the mill early next year, as soon as all necessary permits have been obtained.

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