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Governor’s office helping Whitsell mill owners

East Lane County Commissioner Gary Williams said the mill owners are working to reassign the displaced workers to other facilities in the area, but it could take time.

Posted: May 31, 2018 6:10 PM

SAGINAW, Ore. -- The owners of the Whitsell mill could soon get some help from the governor’s office after a fire ripped through the estimated $15 million dollar property and left around 100 employees out of a job. Investigators tell KEZI 9 News they don’t believe the fire was arson, but they are still investigating.

East Lane County Commissioner Gary Williams said the Regional Solutions team from the governor's office has extended a helping hand to the mill's owner. The solutions team works to identify priorities, solve problems and find opportunities to get projects done.

While a spokesman for the governor’s office told KEZI 9 News no formal agreement has been signed, Williams says the solutions team helped the Swanson mill in Springfield recover after a fire ravaged their mill four years ago.

“They plowed some new ground there in state assistance, so I'm hoping that there is some more robust opportunities," said East Lane County Commissioner Gary Williams. "Having been through this in the recent past, they have the capability of implementing best practices.”

Williams said the mill owners are working to reassign the displaced workers to other facilities in the area, but it could take time. KEZI 9 News reached out to the mill's owners for comment but have not heard back. County leaders are also helping the impacted workers get benefits and find new jobs.

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