"But gee," those surprised by this (like Cherie Kidd) will say. "Didn't they just spend all that money building a biomess cogeneration plant? Didn't the City just build them a new main water line? Didn't all our elected leaders spend half their time kissing Nippon's ass?"
The answer to all of the above is yes, but...
Then the cry will come in reply: "Then how could they do this to us?!?"
Because, it has been the plan all along. Not an admitted plan, not an openly discussed plan, but rather, it's been the follow-the-clues-to-find-the-elephant-in-the-living-room type of plan. Obvious to those with seeing eyes; invisible to those who are blind by disposition and/or cowardice. Being that this type of secret is bad news for the town, it's been easy to keep "top secret" from those who, let's face it, didn't want to face it.
Now that it's Twilight for Nippon,
bring on The Hunger Games...
But Nippon's always been good at secrets. Hell, it spent many years essentially (secretly) running the town. Even this new article demonstrates how hard it is to get a straight answer out of what Cherie Kidd laughably calls a "local company." Look at the most current employment figures that someone managed to pry out of Nippon - they're from June of last year.
In the realm of Not a Secret is that big payoff from the National Park Service that will become available - uh oh! - next year, I believe. Nippon just has to keep the plant "operating" until then, and then they can take those millions and run. Also Not a Secret is the City's complicity in allowing a power plant to be built on the shoreline - a move that was only barely allowable because it was an "auxiliary" function to the paper mill. The one that is now For Sale, and yes, soon to close, leaving just a power plant.
Could be a new economic model for Clallam County...
If it had more barns.
Except that...Also Not a Secret are Nippon's new water line and transferable water rights. And also Not a Secret is the fact that Veolia is already represented locally, and even if that were not the case, there are any number of multinational water companies who would love to swoop in and pick up those water rights for the right price.
Well, for the right price to Nippon, anyway. How such a deal would work out for the City is unclear, but...Do you really think a huge multinational would have any trouble rolling the City? I mean, again, Cherie Kidd really seems to think that Nippon is a "local company." If Nippon were to introduce her to "cousin Veolia," do you really think she would ask too many questions? Would anyone in City Hall? The rest of the Frightened Fluoride Four?
So, to sum up: The Nippon Mill is (finally) For Sale. Which means the mill itself will soon close, and Nippon will walk away with their NPS dollars. Jobs will vanish. The City will have a half-a-million dollar hole blown in its budget. And many, many fantasies about Port Angeles being a mill town will be well and truly crushed.