After two years of operations, Gallatin Hardwood has closed the sawmill at the plant located on Oval Avenue northwest of Gallatin. The company employed 12 people and now will employ only one.
Gallatin Hardwood opened a sawmill and export log facility in January of 2014 on Tract One of the Gallatin Industrial Park.
“We have closed the mill down indefinitely,” said Kris Davis, Sawmill Division Production Coordinator out of Reedsburg, Wis. “We will still be using the area for loading and reloading logs to ship out.”
Mr. Davis explained that the Gallatin mill was part of another larger mill located in Reedsburg. The two sawmills were competing with each other and the wet weather made it impossible to keep the Gallatin plant going.
Gallatin Hardwood will continue to buy and sell logs to ship to Reedsburg. David Reardin will continue to work as log yard manager at Gallatin Hardwood.
The Gallatin business is a division of Midwest Hardwood Corporation, based in Maple Grove, MN. Midwest Hardwood is a worldwide company with sales associates in other countries and over 500 people in its employ.
Midwest Hardwood made significant investments in the Gallatin mill that included a new carriage, two resaws, and lumber handling equipment which increased its productive capacity by five times from when it was acquired two years ago. The parent company noted that Gallatin Hardwood was one of the major producers of green hardwood lumber, chips, sawdust and bark in the state of Missouri.
“It’s been a tough deal for everybody,” said Mr. Davis. “We’re pretty disappointed with the whole thing ourselves.”
CEO/President Mike Flynn opened Midwest Hardwood in 1981 as a one-person firm operating out of his home. A significant part of the business is exporting manufactured products, lumber and logs. The company owns three sawmills in Wisconsin; three dry kiln facilities, two located in Wisconsin and one in Kentucky and a manufacturing facility in Westby, WI. In addition, Midwest has distribution facilities in Maple Grove, MN; Jackson, WI., Sioux Falls, SD; and Omaha, NE.