An aspen processing plant, projected to employ about 25 people, has moved one step closer to reality in the small Sevier County community of Sigurd.

A $150,000 contract has been awarded to Busk Inc. of Richfield to construct a new 12,000-square-foot building, expected to be completed by March.Upward of a dozen people will be hired initially, with 10 to 15 expected to be added to the payroll next summer, according to Bob Jensen, president of Jensen Lumber Co., which is launching the endeavor.

The aspen lumber products produced at the plant will range from crates and pallets, produced from lower grades of logs, to furniture in which high-grade aspen will be used.

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The plant will use aspen from the Fishlake National Forest and privately owned lands. The company will use local trucking firms for distribution and local sawmills for the initial part of the process.

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