The Kalispel Tribe’s opening offer to purchase the recently shuttered Ponderay Newsprint Co. mill in Usk was turned down this month, leaving the fate of the bankrupt facility in Pend Oreille County uncertain.
The (Newport, Wash.) Miner reported that the tribe offered about $6 million for the property and facility, which the owners valued at more than $79 million in bankruptcy filings.
John Munding, the bankruptcy trustee overseeing the company’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy, turned down the tribe’s proposal but said Tuesday it may not be their last.
“The tribe continues to express a valid interest in the property and facility,” he said in an interview with The Spokesman-Review.
Efforts to reach the Kalispel Tribe for comment were unsuccessful, but tribal Vice Chairman Curt Holmes told The Spokesman-Review that the primary intention was to reopen the paper mill and restore the jobs that were so vital for the community’s survival.