BONNER, Mont. (AP) -- Stimson Lumber Co.'s sawmill in Bonner will close indefinitely because of the nation's lagging housing market and dismal lumber prices, company officials said Tuesday.
Company leaders visited the Bonner mill Tuesday afternoon to give crews 60-day notices of the shutdown. About 92 hourly workers and 10 salaried workers will be affected.
The mill temporarily closed last month and reopened March 3.
''We would expect the shutdown to last 12 months or more,'' said Jeff Webber, vice president of manufacturing. ''We're going to run out the log deck and inventory and that will take about two months to do.''
Earlier Tuesday, Webber delivered similar news to about 60 employees at Stimson's mill in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
''It is really just due to the effects of the housing market today and the reduction of lumber demand in North America,'' he said. ''It has gone from 60 billion board feet two years ago to an estimated 40 billion board feet this year.''
About a half-dozen workers will remain as security for the 165 acres Stimson owns in Bonner.
Mike Woodworth, business manager for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 3038, said the union would try to negotiate a severance package for workers and would urge Stimson to pay for some health care of dislocated workers.
Woodworth said the closure was expected, particularly after the Bonner plywood plant closed in July 2007.