THE former Gunns sawmill at Ling Siding could again provide work as early as the end of next month, Dorset Mayor Barry Jarvis said.
Receiver KordaMentha in September announced the site's sale to an un-named buyer, but Cr Jarvis said yesterday that the site's pine treatment facility was complete and could start treating timber as soon as ownership was transferred from the receiver.
"There have been discussions with people interested in using the site's treatment plant and both Stronach Timber and Branxholm Saw Mill have said they could use the treatment plant to further add value to their product," Cr Jarvis said.
"The hope is that this could grow into something bigger, but in the immediate term, to have the site working, which it hasn't done for probably two years, is a good thing for Scottsdale and the North-East.
"To have something on site that would actually return a dollar ... is a good thing and may lead to putting infrastructure in which, one day, could be used for multiple uses."
Cr Jarvis made no attempt to hide his contempt for Gunns and its decision to render the site inoperable before it left.
"That seems to have been their practice around the North - they didn't want anyone else to be able to use a site they vacated," Cr Jarvis said.
"Weighbridges, electronics and parts of saw lines were damaged - I was bloody angry about their treatment of a community that welcomed them with open arms.
"It was also a bit disappointing that the receivers allowed copper wire and transformers to be pulled out of the ground."
Cr Jarvis said that he was cautiously optimistic of the region's future as a wood producing and processing centre.