SARTELL -- Sartell officials are planning to buy back a portion of the former Verso Paper mill property.

During Monday's city council meeting, the council approved a purchase agreement for 167 acres along 4th Avenue South, currently owned by AIM Development, LLC.

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AIM Development bought the paper mill site and this additional 167 acres from Verso in 2013. The former Verso Paper Mill site is not part of the purchase agreement.

The city says the goal of the agreement is to obtain control of the former Verso landfill along 4th Avenue South, to prevent AIM Development from reopening the site as an industrial landfill, which was confirmed with MPCA permit filings.

The proposed purchase agreement also requires that AIM Development plats the former Verso Paper Mill site property in preparation for a known sale to a private party for future development.

City officials say they intend to either exhume or close the 167 acre landfill, plat the land, and sell the property for future development to recoup the purchase costs.

The purchase agreement approved by the City Council is not a guarantee of sale. If any amendments are requested to the agreement by either party, it will come back to the City Council for approval.

If the purchase agreement is approved by the City and AIM Development, LLC, both parties will have 90 days to meet the proposed conditions before closing.

The property will be held by the Sartell Economic Development Authority.


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