ST. CLOUD - After a lengthy discussion, the St. Cloud City council has approved a plan to turn a former convent into temporary worker housing for GNP Company. The council voted 4-3 to amend the PUD for the property at 40 25th Avenue North, which belongs to the St. Anthony Church.

Councilwoman Carol Lewis says GNP's plan to bring in 26 temporary seasonal workers will set a precedent for the future.

City council member George Hontos says there should be enough people living here already to fill those job openings.

GNP Spokesman Tim Wensman say they have advertised for the open positions a number of times over the past two years, and haven't been able to fill them. He says applicants need to have English and math skills. Wensman says the positions are a level or two above entry level.

Wensman says GNP is already offering shuttle buses to the Cold Spring plant from St. Cloud. He says they also offer English as a second language programs.

The workers will be coming from the Ukraine, Mexico, and the Philippines.

They'll be here on a nine to 10 month visa, starting next month.

GNP will pay St. Anthony Church $4,000 a month to use the building, with the workers paying GNP rent. City staff say the building now also become taxable.

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