Possible buyer for Brainerd paper plant is identified

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It's a pivotal week for a shuttered paper plant in Brainerd.

The Brainerd Dispatch reports that city leaders have now identified Liberty Paper Co. of Becker, Mn. as the firm interested in purchasing the idled Wausau Paper Co. in the city.

Representatives of Liberty are expected to make a presentation at a city council meeting Thursday afternoon.

Earlier reports hinted that a buyer was on the line, but did not name the suitor.

The newspaper said that Brainerd's mayor, city council president and other city economic development officials met with Liberty Paper officials late last week. Liberty Paper creates different weights of brown paper similar to grocery bags. Mayor James Wallin said that would be the type of product Liberty would likely produce at the Brainerd site if the deal closes.

Wausau Paper ceased production in April, leading to the elimination of 130 jobs at the site. Since then a task force made up of representatives from the city and business committee was formed to help pull in potential buyers.

The city has placed a bid on the hydroelectric dam at the Brainerd paper mill in August, which is being sold separately.

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