SARTELL -- An exciting time for Sartell, that's what city officials say about acquiring the former Verso Paper Mill site.

During Monday night's city council meeting, the council approved an amended purchase agreement with AIM Development to not only obtain ownership of the 167 acre landfill along 4th Avenue South, but also the site where the paper mill once stood.

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City Administrator Anna Gruber says they've been interested in the site early on and now have the opportunity to redevelop a core property in Sartell.

Those sites have been sitting since the explosion in 2012, and very little activity has been happening. Now by holding the properties in our name we are able to control and drive development and see what could go there.

The amended agreement is just for the property west of the railroad tracks. The property east of the tracks is currently under a lease between AIM Development and Rock Solid Church.

Gruber says with the council's approval, the agreement now goes back to AIM Development awaiting their signature. She says if all goes well they hope to close on the properties before the end of the year.

The properties will then be held by the Sartell Economic Development Authority until the city has the sites ready to sell.

Gruber says it is unknown at this time when the site will be redeveloped. She says it may be a multi-year redevelopment project that will be dependent on environmental reviews and development interest.

AIM Development has owned the properties since 2013.


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