DARRINGTON, Wash. -- The Washington State Department of Commerce and the United Way of Snohomish County are providing $300,000 in aid to the Hampton Lumber Mills. The funding will help offset increased fuel costs until State Route 530 is re-opened.
Since the Oso landslide, truckers have been forced to take a longer route to the lumber mill.
"In order for them to drive that extra 90 miles they have to charge us more," said mill manager Tim Johnson.
Johnson estimates the past month alone the additional trucking costs have been around $514,000. The state and the United Way are each providing $150,000, which will be distributed in two installments.
The Department of Commerce will use U.S. Forest Service funds managed by the department from a grant program that helps timber dependent communities.
“We will continue to stand strong with this community through the hard work of recovery and rebuilding. Hampton Mill is the economic heartbeat of Darrington, and the truckers that bring raw materials to the mill and deliver finished products are its lifeline,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “I commend our team at the Department of Commerce and our partners at the United Way of Snohomish County for their quick, collaborative work to keep the mill running and these truckers on the road.”
The money will be used to purchase fuel cards for the truckers. The Hampton Lumber Mills employs 160 people at the Darrington facility. Trucking companies are hired to pickup and drop off shipments.