SARTELL -- Sartell Mayor Joe Perske says the city faces several challenges, but the future looks strong.

The mayor gave his annual State of the City Address at city hall today (Tuesday) in front of a crowd of 75 community business members.

Among the issues the mayor addressed, he says Sartell is still feeling the loss of the Verso Paper Mill.

Perske says the Verso accident is leaving a big hole in the community.

Despite the tragedy, the mayor also used this incident as an opportunity moving forward.

The city is looking to create a new road on the west side of the former Verso property, which is part of the West Metro Corridor - 4th Avenue South project.

In addition, Sartell has a high number of forfeited properties. Like other cities, Perske says the city is still rebounding from a tough economy.

Perske says the city has 134 lots coming up for sale.

Those lots will be put up for bidding to the general public sometime in late May or early June.