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Augusta Canal Authority awarded $200,000 grant to clean up Sibley Mill

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 1:43 PM
Last updated Thursday, May 29, 2014 12:11 AM
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A $200,000 grant has been awarded to the Augusta Canal Authority for cleanup efforts to decontaminate the former Sibley Mill.

The brownfields grant was one of two awarded in Georgia by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The funds are intended to clean contaminated properties and repurpose the sites for economic development.

Sibley Mill, 1717 Goodrich St., was built in 1881 on the banks of the Augusta Canal. It operated continuously until closing in 2006.

The historic mill, purchased by the authority in 2010, is gradually being prepared for redevelopment. Mayor Deke Copenhaver’s Augusta Regional Collaboration project has proposed using Sibley Mill and neighboring King Mill as dormitories and other usable space for Georgia Regents University.

“The first step to redevelopment, whatever purpose that may be, whether for a university or other purpose, is removal of contamination,” said Dayton Sherrouse, the canal authority’s executive director.

The authority has maintained the site and operates its hydropower turbines, which generate revenue through the sale of electricity. It also financed $242,000 in remediation inside the old mill, and used its first $200,000 EPA grant to clean soil fronting Augusta Canal.

The latest grant, which requires a 20 percent match, will be used for soil remediation on the backside of the mill near River Watch Parkway.

Work likely won’t begin until early 2015, Sherrouse said.

The other Georgia project receiving a $200,000 grant was the East Decatur Greenway.

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itsanotherday1
45610
Points
itsanotherday1 05/28/14 - 01:50 pm
3
1
Contaminated with what? I

Contaminated with what? I don't doubt with its age that now banned solvents etc. were used in processing, but I wonder just what it is and how much.

countyman
20730
Points
countyman 05/28/14 - 02:21 pm
2
7
Smart growth!!!

The city should at least provide enough to stabilize the building if the GRU master plan doesn't support new housing at the Mills.. The Board of Regents are expecting GRU to build 650 new dorms by 2016 and 1,000 by the year 2018.. The private sector will definitely become interested with purchasing the Mills, because the GGHF site can't support all of the new student housing.

grinder48
2032
Points
grinder48 05/28/14 - 03:33 pm
0
0
Contamination
Unpublished

I'd like to know what they do with the contaminated soil. One place in the article says they will "clean" the contaminated soil, in another place it says they'll "remove" the contaminated soil. If they remove it, what do they do with it, take it to a different location and contaminate that location? If they clean it, what do the do with the contamination that was cleaned from the soil?

corgimom
34780
Points
corgimom 05/28/14 - 05:07 pm
2
4
itsa, all the chemicals used

itsa, all the chemicals used in fabric dyes and textile manufacturing- and they were very toxic.

Back in the good old days, nobody cared about poisoning, there is usually mercury, lead, asbestos, and the nasty carcinogenic ones that aren't allowed anymore.

corgimom
34780
Points
corgimom 05/28/14 - 05:08 pm
1
5
It was bad enough that at ASU

It was bad enough that at ASU we were all exposed to asbestos and PCB's because of those horrible buildings, but I don't know many parents that would want their children on a former toxic waste site.

Gage Creed
18005
Points
Gage Creed 05/28/14 - 08:16 pm
4
2
Mills Projects?

Follow the money.... who stands to make the Benjamins on the surrounding property? On the remodel?

itsanotherday1
45610
Points
itsanotherday1 05/28/14 - 09:57 pm
7
1
I'm well aware that toxic

I'm well aware that toxic chemicals were used. I just want to know WHAT and HOW MUCH. $200K seems low to deal with the usual clean-up costs.

Gage Creed
18005
Points
Gage Creed 05/28/14 - 10:22 pm
5
1
Sounds very low....

Sounds very low....

Riverman1
87635
Points
Riverman1 05/29/14 - 07:15 am
3
2
Let New Mayor and Commission Decide

I'd wait and ask the new mayor and commission what they want to do with the property.

Little Lamb
47288
Points
Little Lamb 05/29/14 - 08:03 am
4
2
Lowball

IAD is correct that you will not get much environmental cleanup at a Brownfields site for $240,000. ($200,000 plus $40,000 match from good ole Augusta taxpayers.) The Canal Authority will fritter much of that away in a "study" just to assess what is there.

RM is correct about the timing. I don't think a lame duck mayor and three lame duck commissioners should be involved in making grand decisions. Wait until 2015 and let the new mayor and new commissioners decide on this ill-conceived Mills Project.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 05/29/14 - 08:33 am
4
2
It's probably the fee of the

It's probably the fee of the consultant who will provide a study.

countyman
20730
Points
countyman 05/29/14 - 12:13 pm
1
2
Apathy!!

The same people are constantly negative about everything in Richmond County..

The Canal Authority received another $200,000 grant last year and the funds have to be used for cleaning up the property..

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 05/29/14 - 12:46 pm
0
0
Thank you. We're going to

Thank you. We're going to hold you to that promise.

allhans
24148
Points
allhans 05/29/14 - 01:27 pm
0
0
Who owns the mills? The

Who owns the mills? The taxpayers? How did that happen?

Little Lamb
47288
Points
Little Lamb 05/29/14 - 01:45 pm
0
0
Ownership

Speaking of who owns things; a few days ago, in a story about a person appearing at a city government committee meeting about establishing a senior living facility in the old John Davidson school building on Telfair street, Countyman stated that the building was purchased last year and is now in private hands.

I just looked on the city's property tax web site, and the tax records show that the property is still owned by the Board of Education. If you don't believe it, go to the city's GIS web site, and search for 1102 Telfair St. You will see the picture of the old Davidson school building (with its bad roof) and you will see that the owner is RCBOE.

Spywriter
23
Points
Spywriter 05/29/14 - 02:08 pm
0
0
Old Davidson school Ownership

Not to back up Ctyman (because the last thing I'd want to do is agree with him/her)...but I'm not to sure how up-to-date the GIS website is...just look down the street at the Municipal Building. Construction started there on the Telfair side in 2012 but the picture shows the parking lot open and construction hasn't even started. Likewise the new Sheriff's Office Admin building at Walton Way and 4th is still a parking lot. Just saying...

Little Lamb
47288
Points
Little Lamb 05/29/14 - 03:18 pm
0
0
Update

Good points, Spywriter. However, they just sent out property tax assessment notices. If they're backed up on ownership, they will have some angry property owners on their hands.

I'm sure they will get the ownership documents correct by October, when the bills are sent out.

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