State awards $1M each to Wausau, Port Edwards - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

State awards $1M each to Wausau, Port Edwards

MADISON (WAOW) – Two central Wisconsin communities – Wausau and Port Edwards – will each get $1 million in grants under a new state program designed to spur redevelopment on former industrial sites, Gov. Scott Walker said Friday.

The money is part of $5.1 million being awarded to six cities under what Walker called the "idle industrial sites redevelopment program" to create new uses for the abandoned properties and bring jobs to the areas.

Wausau will use its money to redevelop a 21-acre downtown site along the Wisconsin River into business, residential and recreational uses.

"We have funds available to daylight the creek, we'll have a waterfall and bridges, this will just be the stimulus we were looking for to stimulate the development," said Wausau Mayor Jim Tipple.

Port Edwards' grant will be for a research and business park on a 193-acre former paper mill site.

State Rep. Scott Krug, R-Rome, said the grant was important for Port Edwards and the old Domtar mill site.

“This is like Christmas coming early for central Wisconsin,” he said in a statement.

Walker said 16 communities applied for the money, and grants were also awarded to Milwaukee, Beloit, Madison and Waterloo.

"These grants will help stimulate investment and job creation on manufacturing sites that have been idle or underutilized for years," Walker said in a statement.

The Wausau site featured industrial uses since the 1880s, including Wausau Lumber Co., which had a saw mill. By 1954, the property included a machine shop, bulk petroleum fuel and coal depot and scrap iron yard, authorities said.

The city puts an $82 million price tag on what it calls the East Riverfront Development.


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