Historic mill holds up bridge replacement

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 14, 2003

County Engineer Herb Huner provided a status report on a proposed bridge replacement at the Shellhorn Mill Pond Monday night at the Pike County Commission meeting. The replacement project has been delayed as the county has waited for a report from the Alabama Historical Commission on the historical significance of the site.

Though rains on March 7 caused significant damage at the site, the historic mill over Boyd's Mill Creek has prevented county renovations to the bridge. Huner explained how the sandstone masonry had split and collapsed, leaving the bridge unsafe for travel and forcing residents of that area to make lengthy detours around the creek.

According to the report, authored by McDonald Brooms, Director of the Troy State University Archaeological Center, the mill, which is now crumbling and decayed, was an economic center for the Shellhorn area and provided a place for grain milling and cotton ginning.

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Huner told the commissioners that he expected word back from the historical preservationists by early May.

In other business, the county approved the purchase of a cutter head for an excavator, which Huner said would allow trimming of trees and chipping of wood, especially alongside county roads and culverts.

The county also approved unanimously an off premise retail beer license for the Banks Buy Rite and made preparations for spending today and Wednesday in Montgomery for County Day at the Legislature.

In addition, the commissioners voted unanimously to refund solid waste fees to residents who had paid for an entire year of service. However, the commission cautioned that efforts would not cease to collect payments still owed to the county for solid waste services previously rendered. Civil suits against delinquent accounts were promised in October.

The commission withdrew a proposal to have students from Goshen High School's landscaping class provide maintenance to the courthouse and board of education grounds after Commissioner Willie Thomas raised several questions about the liabilities involved with students operating cutting equipment and pesticides on county grounds. Commissioner Karen Berry promised to review the matter and provide a proposal at the next commission meeting.

The commissioners voted to move the next meeting on Tuesday, April 22, with a work session commencing at 5:15.