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Re-inventing ‘The Mill’

Efforts intensifying to save a city landmark

On Thursday, April 12, Judge Robert Wilkinson ordered that the Magnet Mills owners of 30 years come up with a plan of action for the mill in 60 days.

The decision will come down to either rehabilitating the structures and property or demolishing the structures on the property.

The Magnet Mills site has been a talking point in meetings around Clinton for years now and citizens are hoping to finally see some action.

“We are here based on a complaint filed with regard to a brick structure that was formerly part of the Magnet Mills building, requesting that the structure be demolished or otherwise remedied.” said Phil Crye, Clinton City Attorney, at the ordinance hearing.

Part of the ordinance was to determine if the structure was habitable.

“This structure has no utility services, no functioning plumbing system, no functioning electrical system, no functioning HVAC system. It is not fit for human occupation and is condemned under the applicable municipal codes.” said Crye.

Jerry Glenn, a consultant of the properties owner, stated that they “challenged the structural integrity of the building.”

“It’s been there for a long time. There are no cracks, other than facades that were built on it. We think it’s quite remediable. Given sufficient time, we propose to present evidence with firm contractor bids to that effect.”

“We do not necessarily contest the condition of the property, that’s a long standing established issue. I do believe, in my stipulation, we are not necessarily agreeing that the valuations are reliable, reasonable or accurate.” Said Greg Pratt, the owner’s legal council.

“My client is not opposed, and we’ve made a proposal, to deal with the rehabilitation of the property.” Pratt said.

The cost to rehabilitate the property could be upwards of double the properties value.

Pratt also pointed out that there was a bit of disparity between the environmental tests of the property conducted by the city and the tests his team conducted.

Judge Robert Wilkinson stated that he wanted to give the property owner a chance to evaluate his options for the property moving forward and encouraged the city to be involved as much as possible.

Wilkinson determined that the property, in its current condition, is not habitable and that within the next 60 days the property owner must come up with a plan with respect to the potential rehabilitation of the property that will, hopefully, be coordinated with the city.

Wilkinson also requested some form of cost analysis of the proposed projects.

A plan will likely be decided on before the 60-day deadline, meaning the likelihood of seeing action and forward movement with the decided upon project is high within the next 60 to 90 days.