Madison: After failing to save the Park Falls Paper Mill, Governor Evers announced that he is instead spending $5.675 million in federal pandemic relief/stimulus funds to build a YMCA in the city.

“Evers didn’t get the job done; now the jobs are gone. Not only did Governor Evers spend months refusing to allocate funds to save the paper mill, he also vetoed bi-partisan legislation with the same aim,” noted Senator Patrick Testin (Stevens Point). Testin authored legislation with Reps. Scott Krug (Nekoosa) and James Edming (Glen Fora) that would have utilized the federal money to create a loan to facilitate purchasing both the Park Falls and Wisconsin Rapids paper mills.

Much of the Park Falls mill’s equipment was auctioned off last fall, ending any chance of a comeback after more than a century in the community.

“For months, the Governor ignored communities in Northern Wisconsin,” said Rep. Edming “His attention now is too little, too late for the workers at the mill and for the loggers across our region who depended on that facility being operational.”

While it’s too late for the Park Fall mill, the fate of the Wisconsin Rapids mill remains unclear. That mill’s owner, Verso, was acquired by a Swedish company – BillerudKorsnäs – in December.

“While the fate of the Wisconsin Rapids mill remains murky, one thing is painfully clear,” said Rep. Krug. “Governor Evers veto and continued inaction have hurt workers and families in Park Falls, Wisconsin Rapids, and across Northern and Central Wisconsin.”

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