Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Press reports
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Co-op to close

20-plus employees affected

 

November 23, 2017

Lois E. Johnson

Concluding 97 years in business with fiscal 2018, Moose Lake Cooperative Association announces that it will begin an organized liquidation.

The following is a press release dated November 17 from the Moose Lake Cooperative Association announcing the closure of the company:

Concluding 97 years in business with fiscal 2018, Moose Lake Cooperative Association announces that it will begin an organized liquidation.

General Manager Joel Marcott: "The board of directors has determined that with diminished revenues, an unprofitable fertilizer season and mounting debt, the cooperative will begin an organized, strategic reduction of its assets. The primary objective of the liquidation will be to reduce inventory levels, sell assets and return sufficient capital to the cooperative to retire debt and return equity to the shareholders."

While a definitive close date has not been determined, the Cenex Service Station will continue to offer gasoline and diesel with reduced hours and staff. The retail feed store will continue to operate with a limited staff to reduce inventory. All delivery service and bulk distribution of feed and fertilizer will be terminated on November 30th. Operating hours will be posted at each location.

Marcott continued: "This will be a tremendous purchasing opportunity for our customers. The cooperative has fertilizer, seed, twine, hardware, farm and garden supplies that will be liquidated at significant discounts."

When asked what immediate changes can be expected, Marcott responded. "We will close the tire service department by the end of November and all agronomy, feed and retail transactions will originate at the feed store. We have multiple warehouses, but sales operations will be consolidated to the one store. The Askov location will remain open until the inventory is liquidated. The coop office will reduce hours. A payment drop box will be located at the coop office. Local charge accounts will be suspended by the end of November, and all transactions will be settled by major credit card, cash or check."

Marcott also encouraged patrons to settle their account balances quickly. "The December statement will go out on schedule, and we will become assertive about collecting account balances in excess of 30 days. We would encourage our patrons to quickly settle their statements as our accounts receivable portfolio will be transferred to an outside asset recovery company. We will also provide settlement checks for accounts with credit balances or customers with pre-paid funds on account in excess of their account balances."

In conclusion General Manager Joel Marcott offered: "While the closure of a company can center on the details of finalizing financial matters, it's important that we don't forget about the human impact. Twenty plus employees will be affected by the cooperative closure. These are people with families and homes in the community, many of whom have given decades of service to the cooperative. This is a real loss for the community."

Marcott continued: "This is a sad day, where the reality of a diminished agricultural presence in the community and the consolidation of Ag services just didn't allow for the cooperatives continued participation in the marketplace."

 

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