Moreland OKs work at mill following engineer's report

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Councilwoman Carmen Brown shares thoughts on the use of the Moreland Mill by the Moreland Cultural Arts Alliance at the September council meeting.

By W. WINSTON SKINNER
winston@newnan.com
The Moreland Town Council has received a report on the condition of the two-story section of the Moreland Mill and approved floor removal and engineering for the rest of the project.
The council members discussed the report from engineer Chris Wigginton at their September meeting. “I thought it was a very thorough report,” Councilman Allyn Bell said. He said the report showed “what I expected,” and he recommended the town proceed with removing the remainder of the floor on the bottom level of the structure as recommended.
At the meeting at the town hall in the Moreland Mill, Councilman Jeff Burgess recommended more plans be drawn to move the project forward.
“Let’s go ahead and turn him loose to do some engineering drawings,” Burgess said, referring to Wigginton.
Burgess also asked if Councilman Dick Ford would work with Wigginton on plans for restroom facilities.
“That’s something that’s going to have to be addressed fairly quickly,” Burgess said.
“That septic system – we don’t have any idea how old that is or how well it works,” Ford said. He added there are “some different systems we might use.”

It was agreed to continue working with Tommy Calhoun on the removal of the remaining flooring on the bottom level. A team led by Calhoun has already removed much of the floor on that level to give Wigginton access for a full evaluation.

“I think we should continue with them,” Burgess said.

The council unanimously voted to move forward and to let Wigginton coordinate the work.

“Let’s get moving,” said Burgess, who stated he is eager “to get that process under way.”

Burgess also recommended the town get two portable toilets for the upcoming election, in case plumbing work is being done at that time.

“We’ve got a month before the November election,” he noted. “We’re expecting a crowd this election year.” Burgess said he wanted to “make sure we don’t have any problem.”

“I couldn’t agree with you more,” Bell said. He then joked, “One of them needs to be labeled Republican and the other one Democrats.”

It was agreed to lease the units from High Five, a company the town has used in the past.

During the council meeting, Carol Chancey of the Moreland Cultural Arts Alliance talked about upcoming events in and around the town.

“We have two really great new events that are coming to Moreland,” she said. A storytelling festival – jointly sponsored by MCAA and the Coweta Public Library System – will be held in downtown Moreland on Oct. 20.

Then, on Nov. 3, a Taste of the Hunt event is scheduled at the mill. That event is a prelude to MCAA’s sponsorship of the Bear Creek Hounds’ annual hunt the following weekend at Bear Creek Farms on Bear Creek Road.

The Nov. 3 event from 5-9 p.m. is viewed “as a rampup event for the next weekend, which is their opening event,” Chancey said.

She noted the Order of the Tartan will be participating in the Nov. 3 and Nov. 10 events. “They’ll have pipe and drum bands. They’ll have Scottish dancers” Chancey said.

She asked that the street in front of the mill be closed for the Oct. 20 event and from 4-9 p.m. on Nov. 3. The “two very different events” will both “be a great opportunity for the public to come and see the downtown” and “to get engaged with what’s going on in Moreland,” Chancey said.

Closing the streets for the two events was approved unanimously.

Chancey then asked about having a sampling of wine and ale as part of the Nov. 3 event. “What’s going to be showcased is Scottish food and game meat,” she explained, set up in a way so that “you go around and sample all of these dishes.”

She said “a wine vendor and a beer vendor” are planning to come “to offer samples – little bitty portions of wine or beer” as part of the event. “Only people who are of age would be allowed,” Chancey said.

“I just don’t think we need to serve alcohol in town,” Bell stated. It was noted that the council already approved serving of alcohol at mill events under specific circumstances.

“You do have a process for that that you adopted,” Town Attorney Mark Mitchell noted.

Ford said allowing and regulating alcohol at the mill is a must “if we’re ever going to rent the mill out” – particularly for wedding receptions. “It’s not like nobody in this town ever drinks,” he added.

Chancey said it is important to “showcase the facility as a rental” space.

Councilwoman Carmen Brown said she felt MCAA should pay rent to use the facility for the event. Chancey noted MCAA provides marketing services for the mill and the town as a whole all the time. She also noted MCAA has cleaned the meeting area — something the town used to spend several hundred dollars a year to do.

She also noted some other groups are allowed to use the mill without a fee.

“It’s a disappointment that our group will pay while other groups won’t,” Chancey said.

Brown acknowledged what MCAA does. “I really respect that,” she said. Brown suggested the council might consider a discounted rate for MCAA’s projects “since it’s eventually really going to help us.”

Ford is a member of the Newnan Kiwanis Club and said he would like to invite the club to hold a meeting at the mill sometime.

“I just wanted to bring them down here and let them see the mill,” he said.

Bell said there are expenses whenever the mill is used. “I think we’re going to be shocked when we look at the power bill this year,” he said.

“The increase in power usage is really just not as much as you might think,” Chancey said.



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