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GRANITE FALLS, WA-Miller Shingle Co. has announced that it is shutting down its Enterprise Lumber Co. division, a move that will eliminate jobs for 170 people at its three mills in the Washington towns of Arlington and Oso. Tom Leach, chief financial officer for Miller Shingle Co., says the decision was made because of the current high cost of raw logs and low prices for finished lumber.

“This is a cedar division and cedar log prices have been artificially high,” says Leach, noting that the company has been unable to maintain sufficient profit margins. The company plans to close the doors to its Arlington sawmill on January 7. The shut down dates for the other two mills, another in Arlington and one in Oso, are yet to be determined. The company currently has a 23-year lease with Arlington Municipal Airport for the sawmill, but Leach says he isn’t concerned and will deal with the situation as needed.

Though he wouldn’t disclose asking prices, Leach says his company is trying to find a buyer, preferably one that would purchase all three plants together. He says that no buyer has yet stepped forward with an offer on all three properties, but adds that his company is talking with buyers interested in purchasing individual sites. The closure of Miller Shingle’s lumber division won’t impact the company’s logging operations in Granite Falls and Everett, says Leach, adding that a few of the 170 jobs lost at the mills will be absorbed by the parent company.

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