East side mill property could be deeded to city
By Michael Butler
The property and ruins of the former Mount Vernon textile mill could soon be in the possession of the City of Tallassee.
The city has been in discussions about a proposal from Mount Vernon Pine, which owns the land where the 1899 building was destroyed by fire on May 5, 2016.
"Some months ago, the city filed a lawsuit against the owner of the east side mill property to get them to clean up," said city attorney John Smith. "It was proposed that Mount Vernon Pine would deed the property to the city in resolution of the lawsuit, and so Mount Vernon Pine could get any tax advantage it might be able to get from making what would amount to being a charitable donation.
"The deed has not been notarized. There is approximately $300 worth of taxes that are oustanding on the property that we expect Mount Vernon Pine to pay. There is a mutual release where Mount Vernon Pine releases the city from any claims that it may have against the city and the city releases Mount Vernon Pine from the lawsuit that it's in as well as any other claims."
The council passed the motion to move forward with the proposal. If and when the transaction is complete, the onus will be on the city to clean up the eyesore.
"The city is in position to apply for grants and take steps to clean up that property," Smith noted, "which is probably the least painful way to get that property cleaned up and put into a better appearing position than it is now."
Mayor Johnny Hammock noted that the intention is to apply for a Brownfield grant once the deal is consummated. Hammock added that having ownership of property adjacent to the water filtration plant would favor the city.
"We have our intake right below Thurlow Dam," Hammock pointed out. "There's really no other place where we can expand. We have a lot of our sewer pumps there. If we had this property we could cut a road onto that property so we could get to those pumps. If we ever build a new water filter plant, it will save us some money.
"I think this speeds up the process. It's a win for the City of Tallassee."
*Tallassee in Pictures: Mount Vernon Mills