Driving through town, you may have noticed several of the old mills, which once were a thriving part of the community, now stand vacant; some with portions of the structures torn down, but not completely demolished. The question of what can be done to make those buildings, such as the Martha Mill and old Thomaston Mill, more presentable or completely bulldozed over came up during the February meeting of the Upson County Planning Commission. Yet the answer does not seem to be an easy one.
Kyle Fletcher, Executive Director for the Thomaston-Upson Industrial Development Authority, was present at the meeting and told the board that the cost to tear down the buildings is enormous.
“The cost to demolish these structures is prohibitive. It’s a shame because we think people should be accountable and not let things get in that shape,” said Fletcher, “but it all comes down to the almighty dollar.”
According to City of Thomaston Code Enforcement Officer Bobby Ellington, the two mills mentioned are in violation of the city’s ordinances. He noted the owners (who are located out of town) of both buildings have been issued citations, but that it is much harder to enforce on larger pieces of property than it is on something of a smaller scale, such as a house.
Ellington continued, saying that the owners have been given a list of things that must be done before the property can be sold or have anything removed from it and noted the city is trying to work with them to get it done. However, if either of the owners fails to comply, they will eventually be taken to court to have the matter settled by a judge.