Verso plant purchase still shrouded in mystery

by Dennis Dalman –

Many people, including Rep. Tim O’Driscoll (R-Sartell), are trying to find out more details about the purchase of the Verso paper mill in Sartell. It appears, however, the mill will be torn down and sold for scrap metal. If there is a definite use planned by the purchaser after demolition, nobody at this point knows.

Verso officials and the purchasing company, American Iron and Metal Development, have released very little information about the sale. AIM Development LLC is a subsidiary of a company based in Montreal, Canada.

Like Sartell city staff, O’Driscoll has not been able to learn much about the purchase other than the plant was bought by AIM Development.

The chief executive officer of Montreal-based AIM Development, Herbert Black, did tell Minnesota Public Radio, in a Jan. 30 interview with MPR’s Conrad Wilson that the Sartell mill will be disassembled and some kind of “development” will be at the site. Black said he will visit Sartell this month to get a better idea of what kind of development might be considered.

O’Driscoll, meantime, has been trying to find out further details.

“I have not yet been approached by state officials about future plans,” O’Driscoll said. “It appears the new developers plan to sell off aspects of the buildings and machines for scrap. I have been in touch with local officials about the purchase and look forwared to hearing more in the near future from those involved.”

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