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Renu still considering Wausau demo

Renu Recycling officials are still considering moving forward with demolishing the former Wausau site, despite requirements that they said previously could cause them to walk away.

At Monday’s Brainerd City Council meeting, the group approved Renu’s demolition permit request, but only if the Michigan-based company follows 35 strict city conditions in the process.

On Wednesday, Carlos Avitia, director of demolition with Renu, said company leaders are still interested in the project, but “have a couple of things to work out” before they know if they’ll move forward with demolition for sure.

Avitia declined to detail what must be worked out first, but said he’ll most likely know Friday if the project is a go.

Renu Recycling first requested a conditional use permit from the city to tear down the former Wausau Paper Mill site several weeks ago. That’s what was approved Monday by the council.

Still, there are 35 strict stipulations the company must follow in order to proceed. A couple of those approved stipulations could cause Renu to walk away, company officials said at a Brainerd Planning Commission meeting two weeks ago.

Specifically, one of the most contested conditions is that all asphalt surfaces be removed, as well as all foundation from the site below ground level.

Renu proposed removing 2 feet, which is industry standard, Avitia said. But with the approved permit conditions, all of the concrete be removed from the ground, which is estimated to go 17 feet deep in some places.

At the planning commission meeting a couple of weeks ago, Peter Avitia, business development manager with Renu, said the foundation requirement to remove everything could cause Renu to walk away from the project.

“(The project) will skyrocket (in price) to a point where we can’t proceed,” he said.

Renu officials expect to announce Friday if they’ll proceed.

JESSIE PERRINE may be reached at or 855-5859. Follow me on Twitter at