Associated Press Berg Lumber owes creditors, workers' comp

LEWISTOWN (AP) - Financial problems threaten to close Berg Lumber Co., one of the largest private employers here.

During the past week, the sheriff removed several dozen truckloads of logs from the Berg yard, under a court order obtained by an Idaho couple owed $264,400 by George Berg. Removal of the logs is the latest development in a thickening mix of legal and financial problems surrounding Berg, whose creditors include loggers and Fergus County.

His lawyer negotiated a temporary halt to the seizure of logs, but Berg said Friday that he is worn out by his difficulties.

"I'm trying to raise some money, but it's just about impossible," he said. "It's a mess." He started the mill in the mid-1960s.

Berg said it will be open on Monday, but beyond that, there are no guarantees.

The mill employs about 70 workers.

Berg's entanglements include a lawsuit that is being pursued by the state workers' compensation system, for inadequate payment of insurance that covered Berg employees.

In January, the state settled a $300,000 lawsuit with Berg after his former wife, Pia Fay, bought the state's lien against some of his property.

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