EVART, Mich. (AP) – Dean Foods Co. likely will close a longtime dairy plant in Michigan after its contract with retailer Meijer Inc. to supply stores in the state winds down.

MLive.com reports the Dallas-based company announced plans Monday to lay off 54 workers at the Liberty Dairy plant in Evart in October on top of 43 workers this month. That will leave fewer than 60 employees at the plant about 70 miles northeast of Grand Rapids.

Most of the facility is expected to be closed in February.

The closing is expected to be a blow to the Osceola County community. The dairy pays property taxes and about $200,000 in water and sewer fees annually.

Grand Rapids-based Meijer announced in March its new “Purple Cow Creamery” would supply stores in Michigan.

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