Kyahwood Forest Products mill, owned and operated by the Moricetown Band, is closed until further notice due to debt and cost of operating, a letter dated Oct. 10, 2013 said.
The Kyahwood mill created finger-joint studs for vertical panelling, which was manufactured wood waste delivered from a Houston mill. The cost of shipping the wood from Houston to Moricetown was part of the reason for the indefinite Kyahwood closure.
“[We] made an extremely tough decision to shut down Kyahwood on a temporary basis,” Lucy Gagnon, Moricetown Band manager said. “Time is needed to determine if the finger-joint plant will ever be viable and is currently seeking financing to upgrade the plant to reduce production costs.”
The closure leaves nearly 70 Moricetown residents without work, but plans are in place to attempt to fill the employment void, Gagnon said. Kyahwood generated more than $80,000 bi-weekly for its employees.
“The [Moricetown Band] is the largest employer,” Ganon said. “We are planning a job fair in November to determine what employment options are available for our membership.”
Kyahwood is currently gathering information to revitalize its dormant manufacturing plant and is not limiting the future of the site to finger-joint or wood products in general, Gagnon said.