The Verso paper mill in Sartell owes a minimum of $350,000 to all the emergency responders who helped in the week-long aftermath of its May 28 explosion and fire.
Ninety-three fire departments throughout the state, in one way or another, responded to the disaster. Up to this point, about two-thirds of those departments have billed Verso.
The Sartell-LeSauk Fire Department incurred costs of about $100,000 through its initial battle with the fire and its week-long vigilance and follow-up work. It sent a bill for about $90,000 to Verso, via the city. The City of Sartell submitted some bills, such as for water costs, but it did not bill Verso for staff time in the departments of public works, the police department or city administration.
Cities that are part of the mutual-aid agreement with Sartell, including Sartell, did not submit charges for the first eight hours of their responses. That amount is estimated to be about a $60,000.
It is not yet known if all the bills have been submitted. In the meantime, Verso’s insurance company is processing the charges.