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Damaged mill lays off more than 200

PRINEVILLE  — A Central Oregon door and window plant damaged by heavy snowfall this month is out of operation "for the foreseeable future," costing more than 200 people their jobs.

Workers at the Woodgrain Millwork plant in Prineville were told at a county fairgrounds meeting that there are no plans to repair the damage from the collapse of its roof Nov. 14, KTVZ-TV reported.

The Fruitland, Idaho, company is the third-largest employer in Crook County, and the losses wipe out the county's job gains for the last year, The Bulletin newspaper of Bend reported.

The company is offering workers jobs at its other US plants and relocation assistance. Its website lists operations in Idaho, Georgia, Iowa and Alabama. KTVZ reported that employees were told their health insurance was ending at midnight Tuesday.

The roof collapsed on the front end of the mill, where raw lumber is ripped and cut for processing.

That part of the plant is "integral to the operation of the facility," said a company memo. "After analyzing the situation and the available options, the company has decided to cease many of the operations of the Prineville location for the foreseeable future."

Mayor Betty Roppe said a pellet mill and an interior trim-molding facility weren't affected by the collapse, sparing 36 jobs.

The mill, under different names, has been employing people in Prineville since the 1950s.

City Manager Steven Forrester, who was general manager of the plant for a decade ending in 2008, said the city would look for incentives to encourage Woodgrain to rebuild it.