Mill Takes Another Step Forward

Staff Writer

As of Monday night, St. Marys City Council took the next step in the process of renovating the old Hauss Folk Co. mill next to the canal on East High Street.

Now they get to hurry up and wait.

"It's still going to be a long process," Director of Public Service and Safety Greg Foxhoven said.

The council unanimously approved an emergency resolution authorizing the submittal of a waiver request to the Ohio Developmental Services Agency's Office of Community Development to use funds from the City of St. Marys Community Development Block Grant from the Economic Development Revolving Loan account to renovate the mill.

The unfortunate thing, according to Foxhoven, is the pace of the process. With the slow rate of progress that is being made, the project will not be ready for bid until late 2018 or early 2019. The plan is also to allow the contractors about four weeks to review the plans and submit a bid because of the complex nature of the project.

The project is so complex because the Ohio Historical Society has designated the mill and its west shed addition as marking a significant period in the city's history, meaning efforts must be made to keep the mill in as historically accurate condition as possible.
When the project began in an Aug. 8, 2016 council meeting, the original budget was set at $650,000 but that number has increased as time has progressed, the state increased its involvement and the structure of the mill has deteriorated.

The deterioration of the mill raised a concerning point about the durability of the structure.

Councilman John Bubp asked Foxhoven if there was anything that could be done to help the mill make it through the winter. After a period of silence — answering the councilman's question — Law Director Kraig Noble reminded council of what happened when the city tried to steady the mill in the past and a worker was hurt.

For the time being though, the council is focused on having all the steps in place as if the mill were guaranteed to still be standing come springtime.

In other business, the St. Marys City Council:

• Approved a resolution of appreciation to retired Electrical System Superintendent Dale Good recognizing him for his years of service to the city.

• Approved resolution 2018-23 reaffirming the relationship as a sister city between St. Marys and Leinin, Germany and designating Noble as the city's representative to Leinin.

• Foxhoven reported that the city had received an independent housing study.

• It was announced that Congressman Jim Jordan will be at city hall in the council chambers from 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to hear from the city's supervisors about what is happening in the city.

To see the full story, pick up a copy of Tuesday's print edition of The Evening Leader.