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Bankrupt Mont. co-op trustee seeks more time

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- A federal judge has given the trustee for a bankrupt Montana power cooperative until Dec. 14 to file a reorganization proposal.

Southern Montana Electric Generation and Transmission sought bankruptcy protection last year after building an $85 million power plant near Great Falls that has seen little use.

Trustee Lee Freeman is charged with reorganizing the cooperative to make it economically viable. He has twice sought extensions on the original Oct. 15 due date to submit his plan.

Freeman's attorneys say several reorganization proposals have been received from interested parties. But they say more time is needed to vet those proposals before one can be submitted to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ralph Kirscher.

Southern Montana provides wholesale electricity to five rural electric co-ops and the city of Great Falls.