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IP mill announces 'downtime'

TICONDEROGA - Faced with declining orders, the International Paper Co. mill in Ticonderoga has announced a "downtime."

Christopher Mallon, mill manager, said the mill will temporarily furlough workers during a two-week period in May.

"Due to a slowdown in orders for our products, we are announcing lack of order downtime," Mallon said. "Our company is committed to managing our supply to meet the needs of our customers."

Donna Wadsworth, IP spokeswoman, said the mill is not closing for two weeks.

"Lack of order downtime means that we are managing our production to meet customer orders," she said. "Most of the mill will be down during the two-week outage. We will operate the converting and shipping departments on a limited schedule depending on orders."

It's uncertain how many of the mill's 600 employees will be affected.

"We don't have a number yet, we're still working on the details," Wadsworth said, "but we anticipate that the majority of employees will be off during those two weeks."

IP employees will have a couple of pay options during the "downtime."

"Some employees will opt to draw unemployment and others will use vacation time," Wadsworth said.

What is the future of the Ti mill? Wadsworth declined to speculate.

"We will continue to evaluate our operating schedule and balance our supply to match demand," she said.

Mallon understands the "downtime" will cause anxiety for employees and the community.

"We understand this announcement will create concern and uncertainty for employees, their families and the community," Mallon said. "We will do all we can to assist them and respond to their questions and concerns."

Ticonderoga Supervisor Bob Dedrick said the community is not immune from the economic problems facing the rest of the nation.

"I am not surprised by the announcement regarding the layoffs, especially in light of what is happening with the global economy," Dedrick said. "I'm pleased that it is only a layoff. It could be much worse."

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