KIMBERLY, Wis.- The Village of Kimberly is known for its heritage in the paper industry, but 4 years ago the NewPage mill shut down after nearly a century of operation. That closure left 600 workers without jobs and the Village of Kimberly lost a lot of its identity. Now village leaders are unveiling a new plan for the riverfront property.
"That community of Kimberly in order to be successful in the future has to move beyond the damage of the closure of the mill in the past towards something new," said President of Stadtmueller and Associates, Randy Stadtmueller.
The new plan was put together after a year of research. Part of that research included village leaders asking people who live near the former mill what they would like to see be built there. Those in charge of drawing up the plans say they want the community's input.
"It's really an integrated plan with a lot of details in it," said the executive director for East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, Eric Fowle.
NBC26 asked developers what that plan holds for the community, they say it's a new face for Kimberly.
"It would be a mix of residential and commercial types of projects. There will be an ample number of park like areas, trails you know there's a lot of long area along the river," said Stadtmueller.
The plan is not final and it does not include specific businesses that will occupy the space. Village leaders say it's too early in the planning stages for specifics like that. Right now they just want support from a community that's lost so much.
Following today's meeting the planning commission will re-evaluate what they put forth, taking into consideration feedback from the community. Village leaders hope to have another public meeting in January to revisit their plans.