Plans unveiled for former mill in Port Edwards - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Plans unveiled for former mill in Port Edwards

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PORT EDWARDS (WAOW) -

A central Wisconsin village got a look at plans to bring its work force back to life. The company that bought the former Port Edwards mill says it will become Central Wisconsin Applied Research & Business Park.

For decades Dan Gallagher has lived about four blocks down from the Port Edwards mill. When it closed in 2008, he says he could see the effects from his front yard.

"Traffic sure slowed down a lot," said Gallagher.

More than 500 jobs were lost and the whole village felt it.

"Things just fell apart. A lot of people hurt," said Gallagher.

Now, five years later, the Gallaghers and some of their neighbors came to see what's next for the site.

DMI Acquisitions, LLC., an Ohio-based company, unveiled the plans Wednesday evening. Plans include renovating some of the properties, building a few new ones, and then leasing them all out.

The industries it's targeting include biomass processing, food production, manufacturing, and warehousing.

"As we've vetted these companies that want to come in, we want to make sure that they fit with the other companies that we see coming on the site," said Joseph Moore, COO DMI Acquisitions, LLC.

Project planners are hoping this new business park will add more than 800 jobs to the community.

"To see it back vibrant and the cars and the folks going to work and and the manufacturing, to see that occurring again on site is what I hope for and expect with this project," said Joe Terry, Village of Port Edwards Administrator.

Developers say they have heard from interested companies about leasing the property. But they are not yet saying who they are or when they might move in.

Gallagher says he just hopes to see the benefits soon.

"I'd like to see it happen, I really would. We need it," said Gallagher.

Project leaders say they hope most of the jobs they create will go to people in Port Edwards.

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