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Pell City applies for grant to improve former Avondale Mills building

Pell City applies for grant to renovate former Avondale Mills building

The city has applied for a grant to complete work at the historic Avondale Mills Administrative Office.

PELL CITY – The City Council agreed Monday to move forward with applying for an Alabama Historical Commission grant to help pay for improvements to the former Avondale Mills Administration building on the former plant site.

“The shingles on the building are starting to go,” City Manager Brian Muenger told the council.

The city unsuccessfully applied for the same grant last year. The building is eligible for the grant because of its placement on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the only structure left on the former Avondale Mills plant site, which the city now owns.

The city purchased the former Avondale Mills plant site, along with other Avondale Miss property within the city, for $1 million.

The city bought the property in 2013 as part of a court settlement after city officials refused a request from the former owners, Pell City-Tifton Properties, LLC, a subsidiary of Thunder Enterprises of Chattanooga, to rezone the property for commercial and residential use.  

The administration building has been left untouched since 2013.

Muenger said the grant money, if approved, would pay for roofing, fascia and soffit replacement.

“The work is estimated at $20,000, and the city would be responsible for funding repairs above that amount, if necessary,” he said.

In 2017, at no cost to the city, Christian & Associates Architects, Inc. performed a historic preservation physical needs assessment of the building. According to the assessment, it would cost the city about $70,000 to repair and restore the historic structure.

Muenger said the condition of the building is about the same as it was a year ago.

Initial plans were to use the building as a museum to house Avondale Mills artifacts and to display the history of the more than century old textile mill.

In other matters Monday, the council:

Approved rezoning property owned by Daris Jordan at 1701 Fourth Ave. S. from R-3, medium density residential district, to R-1MH, single family and manufactured home residential district.

Approved an application from Sprint for the modifications of an existing telecommunications tower at 350 Blue Hole Road.

Approved the low bid in the amount of $30,832 for battery-operated rescue tools, power spreaders and cutters.

Approved an agreement with the law firm of Trussell, Funderburg, Rea and Bell for the collection of past due utility and municipal court accounts.

Appointed Jamie Crosson to a four-year term on the Industrial Development Board. He will replace Ken Howe.

Appointed Warren Smith to the Library Board for a four-year term. He will fill the seat vacated by Suzi Walker.

Set a public hearing for Sept. 24, after declaring 11 properties as nuisances because owners have failed to maintain the grass, weeds, etc., which harbors mosquitoes and rodents.

Approved the city’s holiday schedule for next fiscal year.