Brokaw Bankruptcy Solution Opposed by Lawmakers

Central Wisconsin Village Has Been In Debt Since Closure Of Paper Mill

The old Brokaw paper mill, which closed three years ago.

The financially troubled Village of Brokaw will not be saved by a change in state bankruptcy law, according to three central Wisconsin lawmakers.

Brokaw is $3 million in debt following the loss of its paper mill.

In a joint statement, state Sen. Jerry Petrowski and Reps. John Spiros and Dave Heaton — all of whom are Republicans — said “in the current state budget picture, no one should be expecting a bailout for the Village.”

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The lawmakers said if Brokaw were able to declare bankruptcy, it would impact “borrowing costs for every other municipality in the state,” a point echoed by Marathon County Administrator Brad Karger.

“That would be vehemently opposed by the League of Wisconsin Municipalities and the (Wisconsin) Bankers Association, because if you introduce the concept of bankruptcy, that could easily raise the rates, borrowing rates for all municipalities going forward, to satisfy the interests of a village of 251 people,” said Karger.

A study commissioned by the county says Brokaw either has to dissolve or be annexed by the City of Wausau.

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