Some very good news for the small city of Emmett, about 20 miles northwest of Boise, which has become a bedroom community for its larger neighbor but some years ago lost much of the key business base that for decades strengthened it. That base was in timber production, and for many years Boise-Cascade Corporation ran a massive timber processing plant there. Along with a lot of other mills, it closed in 2001.
Now, the good news: A new mill, operated by a company, Emerald Forest Products, which has had a small presence in Emmett for most of a decade. It is expected to result in 47 solidly-paying jobs. The customer base is established, too, including contracts with Home Depot.
Plenty of Idaho political people understandably were happy to join in the celebration. In these tight economic times, though, they might want to pay some attention to a sentence in the press release (sorry, no link available) from the Gem County Commission about one of the key pieces to getting this done:
"Along with the $4 million dollar American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) grant Vinson has spent over $6 million on equipment and labor to finish the mill." ARRA funds are the much-maligned federal stimulus money. A Forest Service story has the details on the business project (which looks to have a number of spinoff benefits) and the role federal funding played.
Yeah, once again: Federal funding.