Public hearing seeks input on future uses for vacant Sibley Mill

The Augusta Canal Authority has scheduled a public hearing from 6 to 7 p.m. Monday to seek input on redevelopment options for Sibley Mill.

 

Sibley Mill, with 518,000 square feet of floor space and property that fronts on both the Augusta Canal and the Savannah River, has potential but no formal plan.

That’s why the Augusta Canal Authority has scheduled a public hearing from 6 to 7 p.m. Monday to seek input on redevelopment options for the vacant landmark.

The meeting will be at the Enterprise Mill’s Cotton Room classroom, 1450 Greene St., next to Fat Man’s Mill Cafe.

The canal authority bought the mill last year from Avondale Mills and has undertaken $180,000 in cleanup projects that included removal of mercury from a boiler room and the dismantling of metal chemical storage tanks.

Ideas discussed in the past have been residential, professional and commercial redevelopment – or a combination.

The site is important because of its Civil War history as the site of the Confederate Powderworks, and also because of its location within the Augusta Canal National Heritage Area and proximity to the Salvation Army Kroc Center, which is just across the canal.

It also has its own revenue-producing hydropower turbines.

The parcel on which the mill sits also includes frontage on the Savannah River. A developer who once had the site under contract in 2007 had discussed a residential complex that could include a tunnel under River Watch Parkway to allow residents to visit the river.

Although the mill is stable, additional cleanup projects are needed to make it “redevelopment ready,” according to canal authority officials, who plan to apply for a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields grant to fund the next phase of environmental cleanup.

 

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