by Dennis Dalman
Sartell city staff, including Sartell City Administrator Patti Gartland, recently met with the chief executive officer of American Iron and Metal Co., which is purchasing the Sartell paper-mill site.
In a memo to the city council, Gartland said he met with the CEO and six other members of his development team during a lunch session at city hall in mid-February. That same day, the AIM officials toured the paper-mill site.
The Verso paper mill was shut down permanently after an explosion and fire on Memorial Day 2012 caused a massive amount of damage and resulted in the death of a Verso employee.
The company, AIM, plans to demolish most of the paper-mill site and salvage what it can, such as metals that can be re-used. The process will take from 12-18 months, officials told Gartland.
AIM is based in Montreal, Canada. Its CEO is Herbert Black. He and the six others also met with the Greater St. Cloud Development Corp.
AIM has been working with a local real-estate broker, the St. Cloud-based INH Property Management, to look into possible resale posssibilities of the various properties at the mill site. The AIM officials said they look forward to hearing any ideas from local, regional and state entities on a best use for the site.
In addition, Gartland noted the City of Sartell has begun talks with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to explore ways to help find a way to use the site.