K-C mill set for demolition as early as July

EVERETT — Kimberly-Clark may begin demolishing its mill site on the waterfront as early as next month, a company spokesman says.

“We want to prepare the site as quickly and safely as possible so it can be ready for the next owner who will bring economic vitality back to the section of the waterfront,” said Bob Brand, Kimberly-Clark Corp. spokesman.

People may see bulldozers moving soil or excavators cutting steel or hammering concrete. There may be limited use of a crane with a wrecking ball.

Kimberly-Clark also is considering imploding some of the buildings, but company officials haven’t made a decision, Brand said.

“If it’s decided to go that route, the implosion would be done only by subcontracted professional experts with coordination with the Navy and the city,” he said.

They hope to have the demolition of the 66-acre site completed by the beginning of next year, but the company isn’t sure how long it will take.

Right now, the company is preparing the buildings for demolition by removing equipment and performing abatement work to safely remove hazardous materials such as asbestos and lead, Brand added.

First, the corporation has to obtain a long list of approvals, including permits from the state Department of Ecology and the city.

Everett already determined razing the site won’t harm the environment — a major step toward the building’s demolition.

The city is requiring that Kimberly-Clark hire a historian to evaluate the historical significance of at least one decades-old building on the property, the Puget Sound Pulp and Timber main office.

The state’s Department of Archaeology &Historic Preservation made that recommendation. Local people also were concerned about preserving history.

Kimberly-Clark can still tear the building down, but first they must document its historical significance to the community. That will be shared with the public.

“There’s a whole generation of people in Everett who are going to be interested in where their dad or granddad worked,” said Russell Holter, a project compliance reviewer for the state office. “That’s why we ask these questions.”

Meanwhile, Kimberly-Clark’s real estate agent is searching for a buyer for the property.

The City Council placed a six-month moratorium on any new development, which is set to expire Aug. 15.

The city is trying to decide if it should craft rules to limit the type of development allowed at the mill site and adjacent properties.

City staff have solicited public input and hired consultants, including Greg Easton of Property Counselors.

Easton is preparing an economic report on the type of businesses that would be most economically viable. He plans to give some initial results at Planning Commission meetings scheduled for 6:30 p.m. June 19 and July 17 at the Everett Transit Station’s Weyerhaeuser Room.

More than 700 people lost their jobs at the mill, after talks to sell the mill failed and Kimberly-Clark decided to shut down the decades-old facility. The last workers finished their shifts in April.

Debra Smith: 425-339-3197 or dsmith@heraldnet.com

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