Park Falls celebrates the re-opening of the paper mill - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Park Falls celebrates the re-opening of the paper mill

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PARK FALLS (WAOW)--In 2006 the paper mill in Park Falls shut down, leaving hundreds without work in a small community dependent upon the mill for a large portion of the local economy.

Don Preisler is an ambassador for the city of Park Falls.

"It was devastating," says Preisler. "We never thought we would see it open up because so many mills across the country are shutting down. Small mills like Flambeau are shutting down and are never reopened."

Six months later, Butch Johnson bought the bankrupt mill, altered its strategy, and turned the paper mill once again into a profitable venture.

On Friday, Park Falls celebrated the 5-year anniversary of the re-opening. Organizers estimate more than 1,000 people from the community joined in.

Butch Johnson, the owner of Flambeau River Papers, tells Newsline 9 a study done by the University of Minnesota Duluth found the mill generates an estimated $300,000,000 to the regional economy.

Online Reporter:Nate Barrett

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