Missota Paper's announcement of an extended shutdown was the subject of a community meeting Monday.
Jim Withers, Missota Paper chief operating officer, met with representatives from the city of Brainerd, Brainerd Lakes Area Chambers of Commerce, Brainerd Lakes Area Development Corp., Initiative Foundation and the WorkForce Center.
Lisa Paxton, Brainerd chamber CEO, said the purpose of the meeting was to create lines of communication and understand the market conditions Missota Paper is facing.
Paxton said today the meeting reaffirmed the community is ready to help Missota. But she said there were no specifics on what the mill may need at this point.
Missota Paper announced a production suspension at least through November. They are keeping a skeleton crew on board and will continue to market products. The bulk of the 145 employees will be laid off in the interim.
Brainerd Mayor James Wallin attended the Monday meeting. Wallin said the paper market is soft now and some of the mills that normally make high gloss paper have reverted back to making same kind of paper as Missota.
Wallin said Missota is still optimistic but the mill does not have no date when they'll be up and running.
"Hopefully it'll turn out better for them and they'll continue making paper in our community," Wallin said.
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