Kimberly-Clark may start mill demolition this week

EVERETT — They’ve turned out the lights and shut off the water and gas.

In only a matter of days, the last vestiges of the gritty mills that helped build this city will begin to be dismantled and carted away.

The Kimberly-Clark pulp and paper mill has been closed since April.

Demolition could begin as early as this week, but don’t be surprised if it takes a bit longer to get going, said Bob Brand, the company’s spokesman.

The company initially estimated demolition would start in July, but contractors preparing the site needed more time.

Big trucks are rumbling in and out of the mill, hauling all manner of debris, Brand said.

Workers are removing equipment and hazardous materials such as asbestos and lead.

Andrea Tucker can see the hubbub from her home in the Bayside Neighborhood, just above the waterfront mill.

“Cranes and flags and trucks,” she said. “They’re working away.”

Tucker doesn’t welcome the loss of a crucial cog in the local economy. She is glad the company isn’t letting the mill sit vacant on Everett’s waterfront for years.

The razing of the site is expected to take less than a year. The company’s best guess for completion is the first part of 2013.

There’s also pollution to deal with. Kimberly-Clark committed to cleaning up the 66-acre property, and that could take at least until 2015.

There’s still no buyer for the property.

The company hasn’t decided what it will do with a sliver of land it owns that makes up part of a P-Patch at nearby Bayside Park.

“No definitive decision yet on the community garden, but I continue to be hopeful that when that decision is made, it will be one that is satisfactory to the community,” Brand said.

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

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