The Wausau Paper Mill has been a part of Brainerd for over 100 years. But, it’s future is uncertain. A special meeting of the Brainerd Planning Commission was held at this morning the closed Wassau facility .
City Planner Mark Ostgarden says, “The purpose of the tour today was to give the Brainerd planning commission the opportunity to tour the facility and to understand the size of the facility.”
The city is hopeful to find a purpose for the mill.
Brainerd Mayor James Wallin says, “The best outcome would be if it was a paper mill. That’s what it was built for designed for and everything else. But, that’s not going to happen, not with this economy with today’s market with most of the paper being brought into the United States from over seas.”
Ostgarden says, “Probably the next best-case scenario is the site gets repurposed in its entirety for a different type of industrial use or a different type of use in general. Maybe reused as commercial or residential.”
The city is looking for other ways to repurpose the land if they can’t find any buyers to take over the mill.
Ostgarden says, “The property offers some redevelopment potential for the community and can provide some new tax space for the city.”
Also the town is currently looking into purchasing the mill’s dam as an additional a future source of power for the community.
Mayor Wallin says, “What it’ll do is keep the electric rates down and I think that in itself would be an advantage a financial advantage.”
The city or Brainerd canceled their meeting Monday night about decommissioning the Paper Mill. Its reschedule date has yet to be determined.