PARK FALLS, WI — Gov. Tony Evers recently announced a $3.75 million investment for infrastructure fixes to support water conservation efforts and safe drinking water for the city of Park Falls. This investment comes in light of growing concerns over the city’s outdated water infrastructure.
“The city of Park Falls has faced changing community needs, higher costs, and limitations of older infrastructure for years. Today’s investment will make necessary improvements to the city’s aging water utility system, and make sure that residents have access to clean, safe, and reliable water,” said Gov. Evers. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with Mayor Bablick and his administration to address the imminent needs of the Park Fall’s community and greater area, and to help ensure folks and families aren’t stuck footing the bill for this upgraded infrastructure.”
The closure of the Park Falls Paper Mill last year caused significant strain both on operating costs and the existing infrastructure. Prior to its closure, the paper mill accounted for 50-75% of the water use in Park Falls. Without the additional water flow generated by the paper mill in the winter, the town’s 100 year old water lines are susceptible to freezing. This grant will allow the city to upgrade their water infrastructure and ensure reliable and affordable water service to the city’s residents. This grant is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act.
“City staff and I have been working very hard to find solutions to deal with the aftermath of the permanent Mill shutdown,” said Mayor Michael Bablick. “We are very thankful to Governor Evers and his staff for working so hard to help us in our time of need. These funds will go a long way in solving our infrastructure needs in the utility, protecting future ratepayers.
“I commend Gov. Evers for working with Mayor Bablick and city staff to find an effective solution to updating Park Fall’s water utility system without placing the financial burden on residents,” said Rep. Beth Meyers. “The closure of the Park Falls Paper Mill has had devastating ripple effects throughout northern Wisconsin, but I am glad that safe and affordable water will continue to remain accessible to the residents of Park Falls thanks to the joint efforts of Gov. Evers and Mayor Bablick.”
Construction on Park Fall’s water infrastructure is expected to start next summer and finish by the fall months of 2024.