Merrill awarded $400,000 grant from WEDC

Freeman Staff

March 16, 2015

MERRILL — The city of Merrill was awarded a $417,250 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s Idle Industrial Sites Redevelopment Program, which encourages redevelopment on abandoned properties.

According to the Monday announcement, the grant will be used toward a $1.4 million project to redevelop 19 acres of vacant industrial property along the Wisconsin River. The city’s Eastside Riverfront Redevelopment Project calls for demolishing the aging, idle buildings on site and clearing the land to make way for new development that will ultimately create jobs and increase the city’s tax base.

“This project provides Merrill with an outstanding opportunity for long-term economic development, and WEDC is pleased to assist the city in making it a reality,” said Reed Hall, secretary and CEO of WEDC. “The first step toward future development is eliminating the existing idle buildings on that property, and this grant will help the city do just that.”

The Idle Industrial Sites Redevelopment Program offers grants of up to $1 million to communities for the implementation of redevelopment plans for sites of 10 acres or more that have been idle, abandoned or underutilized for at least five years. The sites must have had at least 25 years of prior commercial or industrial usage to qualify.