Sartell paper plant cutting 175 workers

Verso Paper is shutting down all but one of its paper machines and laying off a huge chunk of its 400-plus employees.
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Verso Paper is shutting down all but one of its paper machines and laying off a huge chunk of its 400-plus employees.

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Dayton, officials pledge support for Sartell in wake of paper mill closing

Gov. Mark Dayton and other government officials said Friday that they will pledge support for the city of Sartell after Verso Paper Corp. announced it was shutting down its fire-damaged paper mill for good. Dayton, who was in Sartell with U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and other lawmakers, vowed to use his clout to bring jobs back to the Verso site. More than 260 employees worked at the plant.

Dayton considers aid for Sartell paper plant

Gov. Mark Dayton plans to call a special legislative session in late July or August to respond to flood damage in northeast Minnesota. The St. Cloud Times reports Dayton has indicated he's also interested in providing state aid for the Verso Paper mill following an explosion and fire on Memorial Day. One worker was killed, four others were injured and most of the 250 workers have been laid off from the Sartell plant.

Idle Sartell paper mill hurting Minnesota loggers

The shutdown of Sartell's Verso Paper Mill has created an economic ripple effect. Northern Minnesota loggers who sell their timber to the mill are feeling it, as are those who make and maintain the mill's equipment. Local officials want the state to help Verso repair the damage of last month's explosion and fire.

Verso won't reopen Sartell paper mill

Verso Paper has decided against reopening the Sartell mill that was damaged by an explosion and fire on Memorial Day. 259 people had worked at the plant. A company executive says it was a difficult decision, but the mill had not been competitive in recent years. Verso says it will work with local officials on finding a new use for the site.

Report on cause of Sartell paper mill fire released

Investigators say the fire at Sartell's Verso paper mill was caused by an overheated compressor. There was a severe loss of pressure in the water that normally cooled the equipment. The subsequent explosion and fire killed one worker and damaged the plant, which the company recently announced will not reopen.

Verso pays Sartell for paper mill fire expenses

Verso Paper Corp. on Monday paid the city of Sartell in full – about $398,000 – for its response to a Memorial Day fire that ultimately led to the permanent closing of the company's paper plant, the St. Cloud Times reports. There were 92 agencies from across the state that helped fight the blaze and 68 of those sought repayment.

Sartell tries to envision life after the paper mill

The owners changed over the years, but Sartell's paper mill has provided hundreds of jobs for more than a century. Those days are gone following Verso Paper's decision not to reopen the fire-damaged plant. Now Gov. Dayton will put together a task force to look at how to reuse the 37 acre site on the Mississippi River. Verso says it will share its list of potential buyers.