EVERETT, Wash. -
A mill closure that cost the Everett community hundreds of jobs is sparking ideas for how to use the waterfront land.
The Kimberly Clark pulp and paper mill began the shutdown process a year ago. Nearly 800 people lost their jobs when the 80-year-old site ceased operations in April.
The future of the waterfront property is up in the air.
Everett City Council members said the community wasn’t ready for such an economic blow.
In February, it approved a moratorium on new construction until there was an agreement as to what should be done at the site.
Kay Doremus runs a day care for low-income families next to the mill site.
“Anything that would bring any kind of growth, in terms of job growth in this area, certainly would be appreciated,” said Doremus.
One of four plans being discussed would turn the area into a business park that could bring in more than 1,900 jobs.
Other plans include heavy industrial use or businesses that depend on waterfront access.
Neighbor Merrill Jennings can see the current demolition activity from his front porch.
He said he’d like to see the land used for something that would attract tourists, similar to Seattle’s waterfront.
"It would be nice to have a boardwalk,” said Jennings.
The debate for what the land will be used for will continue as the clearing of the mill site clears the way for new construction.
The next hearing about the site’s future is scheduled for Jan. 19.