Wisconsin Rapids Papermill Hoping to Find New Life

For over a hundred years the paper plant in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, has been taking energy from the Wisconsin River and combining it with wood pulp turning it into the glossy paper used by U.S. magazines and for high end advertisements.  The paper mill employed over 900 people and the economic corner stone of the town and region. The Verso Corp.’s Wisconsin Rapids Mill ceased operations at the end of June and the reverberations can be felt everywhere in the region from merchants in town to the loggers in the woods, the lumber haulers and landowners whose lands trees were being harvested. But the town and region are hoping to make the closure temporary. A local task force is exploring options to save the plant, which the company will continue to maintain in case a buyer emerges. One option being pushed by loggers in the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association is the formation of a cooperative to put the plant into the hands of the people who feed it and depend upon it.  A task force convened by local elected officials is looking at options to revive the plant once it is mothballed by the company, including finding an outside buyer and converting it to make other kinds of paper

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