Sartell paper mill will not re-open following fire

5:26 PM, Aug 2, 2012   |    comments
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SARTELL, Minn. - The paper plant that exploded and caught fire in May will not re-open for business after plant officials say the cost to repair the plant is too high.

Verso officials said despite the great efforts of the employees, coming back from a setback this size is too difficult.

"The mill has not been competitive for a number of years and, despite our employees' dedicated efforts since the December 2011 shutdown of two of the facility's three paper machines, our assessment indicates that it is impossible for the mill to achieve a competitive position in today's marketplace, especially after a setback of this magnitude and duration," Verso President and CEO David Paterson wrote in a statement.

"We will work closely with local and state officials to develop options for the future use of the mill site."

The plant explosion and fire on May 28 killed one employee, Jon Maus, and injured five others.

The cost to repair the plant was estimated to be in the millions.

Sartell city administrator Patti Gartland called the news "a new tragedy" following the tragedy on May 28.

Verso employees have not worked since the fire.

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