Neighbors Want Old Twiggs Street Mill Gone, So Does Commissioner - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Neighbors Want Old Twiggs Street Mill Gone, So Does Commissioner

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It's been Donald Streeter's neighbor for the past ten years, but the old Southern Milling Company mill on Twiggs Street, has been a part of the neighborhood since the 1850's. Now, it's really showing its age.

"It don't look good, that's for sure. You can tell that since they're not going to do anything about it. They need to tear it down," said Streeter, who lives behind the mill on Hopkins Street.

The old mill looks to be ready to fall down, and it's blight on the neighborhood in many ways.

"Well, it's pretty bad. It was rat infested, it caught on fire and it burned for days," says Wanda Smith. referring to the big fire at the mill in September of 2008.

The old mill may be part of Augusta's history. It's on Historic Augusta's list of endangered properties, but Augusta Commissioner Marion Williams says it needs to be history.

"Whatever the process needs to be, George, it should have been gone. We can't let people who own property sit here like this. They don't live like this, it's not in their neighborhood, and the people in this neighborhood shouldn't have to tolerate it either," said Williams.

The owner says this mill was still in operation in 2002, but has been closed now for more than a decade. The roof is gone, the basement is filling with rain water, and the water puts off a very chemical smell.

"No telling what the danger is inside there, they're too many kids running around," says Marco Sanders, lives nearby.

"If a child gets in there and gets hurt, Lord knows anything else happens, just get hurt in there...who's going to take responsibility?" says Commissioner Williams.

The owner, Edgar Mathews of North Augusta and some workers were on site Tuesday removing materials.

Mathews applied for a demolition permit last July, and for many around here, getting rid of this mill can't come soon enough.

Mathews and his attorney will go before Augusta Commissioners at Tuesday's meeting to discuss the plan to get the building torn down.

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