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State Lawmakers to Show Support with Sartell Visit

State Lawmakers to Show Support with Sartell Visit Click to Enlarge Photo: Brad Veenstra

Aug 3, 2012 at 8:05 am

SARTELL, MN (KNSI) - Governor Mark Dayton and Senator Amy Klobuchar will travel to Sartell today to offer the community their support after Verso Paper announced it won't reopen its paper mill.

Verso CEO Dave Paterson met with Dayton in St. Paul Thursday and told him the company is permanently closing the plant. The mill was heavily damaged by a Memorial Day explosion and fire.

A Dayton spokeswoman says the governor will be in Sartell at 3:30 this afternoon to meet with local officials. She says Dayton will do everything he can to recruit a company to buy the mill or find an investor for the site.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann says she understands Verso's decision. She says anytime Minnesotans lose their jobs ''is a heartbreaking day.''

Senior Vice President of Manufacturing Lyle Fellows and plant manager Matt Archambeau announced Thursday that the company has decided to close the doors on the 106 year old paper mill. The company has spent the past two months assessing damage and totaling up costs.

AUDIO: Listen to Thursday's news conference announcing the closing of the Sartell Verso paper mill; 8/2/12

In the end, Fellows says the cost of repairs coupled with a declining demand for paper meant the best decision was to close the mill. He says a task force of local and state officials will be formed to look for alternative uses for the site.

Since the fire, the plant has laid off nearly 250 workers. The remaining skeleton crew of employees still working at the mill were let go Thursday.

JW Cox

Posted By JW Cox

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