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Local Reaction To Bowie Coal Mine Layoffs

vote, coal
Laura Palmisano

Bowie Resource Partners laid off 150 people at its Bowie #2 mine near Paonia. 

The company announced the layoffs through a press release. 

In the statement, Bowie says it’s scaling back production at the mine in response to the cancelation of a coal supply agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority and continued weak demand for coal in the region.

Tenasha Smith worked at mine for four years as a dispatch operator. She was let go Wednesday.

"With my sixty days pay, I’m going to pay off all of my bills that I possibly can and I will be looking for a job in the Denver area," Smith says.

She says her dad also works at the mine, but he didn't lose his job.

The company says it will provide laid off workers with 60 days of wages and benefits.

And says it will provide relocation assistance for workers who transfer to other Bowie mines.

Smith says the mine still employees about 170 people. 

Bob Isom owns a construction company in Delta that provides services to the mining industry.

He says his company helped build parts of the Bowie mine and does maintenance for its equipment.

Isom says cutbacks in the coal industry affect his business. He says in recent years he keeps seeing work orders from coal mines decline.

"They haven't been doing any expanding and just have been pulling maintenance and trying to pull maintenance with their own people," Isom says. "There is just no work out there for a company like ours."

Last year the shutdown of another mine in the region caused nearly 300 people to lose their jobs.

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