The outlook for a potential sale of the Potlatch mill may be called guardedly optimistic, but no one has made an offer yet.
The mill has had three potential suitors. Activity with one domestic group has been quite extensive with studies on cost analysis and potential products.
"It's more than tire kickers right now," said Tom Brotski, Potlatch transition manager. Brotski said the interest if from people who are truly interested in operating and running the mill. But he said no documents have been signed. "We're very hopeful," Brotski said. "Again we want to be cautious. We don't want to raise too many hopes."
Brotski said the trip to China was productive with lengthy discussions on cost of production and whether the mill in Brainerd can produce products at a competitive cost. Information is continuing to flow between Potlatch and the interested parties.
Brotski also said the mill is getting new inquiries from investment groups.
"It's pretty encouraging," Brotski said, noting five months ago with the economic outlook for the country and the number of other closed mills he thought the chance of selling the mill may be low.
Now, he said, he is more hopeful.
Sweet Bouquets, candy floral arrangements, is a new business in the lakes area. The home-based business with delivery and shipping capabilities, opened earlier this month. The business is owned and operated by Jenny Galles, Breezy Point.
Curves for Women is moving all around the lakes area. The Brainerd Curves recently moved to its larger new location behind World on Wheels. Curves for Women in Little Falls is now located in a larger spot on Second Street. Bev D. Lembke is the owner and Autumn Pechan is manager.
A Curves for Women also opened on Third Street Northeast in Aitkin. Janel Anderson is the owner and Nedra Klingelhofer is the manager.
The Triangle Store in Baxter added a car wash.
Dollar Days, a discount variety store, opened recently on LeMieur Street in Little Falls. David Stock, Superior, Wis., is president and manager is Bonnie Wise with Tammy Ballou as assistant manager.
Dobis Tire, Highway 27 West Little Falls, was purchased by Heartland Tire Inc., which started in 1980 in Brainerd and now has nine stores. Jerry Lane is the owner and Bob Lynch is the manager.
Nominations for 2002 Citizen of the Year are being sought by the Nisswa Chamber of Commerce. The chamber has recognized an outstanding individual for community contributions for the past 14 years. The chamber stated the nominee does not have to be a business person, a chamber member or even a Nisswa resident as summer residents also qualify. But the nominee should "be a humble servant whose energies are spent for the betterment of the community and not for personal gain."
The award may go to a nominee in honor of a major project within a specific year or for on-going participation in community affairs. The award winner will be announced at the Oct. 8 fall chamber dinner. Nominations must be received in writing no later than Sept. 25. The nomination should include a letter detailing why the candidate should be considered along with information on how the nominator may be contacted.
Nominations may be mailed to the chamber at P.O. Box 185, Nisswa, MN 56468. Call the chamber at (218) 963-2620 for more information or go online to www.nisswa.com.
A survey of the Baxter Industrial Park by the Brainerd Lakes Area Development Corporation lists 62 companies occupying 741,764 square feet of land. Companies in the park employ about 1,075 people with an average wage of $9 to $19 per hour. According to BLADC, 25 percent of companies representatives who participated in the survey reported they were thinking of expanding in the future. Companies in the park have been located there from one to 17 years. About 20 buildings are owned by developers and 200,000 square feet available for lease.
Baxter's Industrial and Economic Development Commission discussed recent industrial park activity and reported things have "been a little soft" since Sept. 11.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.