Several Tallassee residents have questioned the status of both the eastside and westside mill sites.
There is no doubt the eastside mill site is an eyesore and needs to cleaned up. The structure burned in May 2016 bringing the massive symbol of the industrial revolution to nothing more than ash and crumbling stone.
Later that year then mayor Bobby Payne and the Tallassee City Council voted to file suit against property owner Tommy Hudson in an effort to hold the property owner responsible for demolition and removal of the debris.
However when Mayor Johnny Hammock took office that same year, he reached out to Hudson and they came to an agreement the city would drop the lawsuit without prejudice — meaning the lawsuit could be reinstated at any point should the agreement be breached.
Soon after, cleanup began at the eastside mill site but only for a few months.
In July 2018, Hammock and the city council reinstated the lawsuit against Hudson.
The case currently remains in litigation and, according to Hammock, little details can be disclosed. However, he said he reassures the public city attorneys are working diligently on an outcome that would benefit the city as a whole.
“Things like this take time,” Hammock said. “Unfortunately, I cannot give any details while the case is in litigation. We are working toward a good outcome for the City of Tallassee and as soon as I am able to speak more on the subject I will update everyone.”
Although city attorneys are working diligently on the lawsuit against the eastside mill owner, the City of Tallassee does not own the westside mill. It is owned by the Tallassee Redevelopment Authority (TRA) and is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage, as well as the National Register of Historical Places. Other areas of the city listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage include all the Tallassee commercial historic district, the Confederate Arsenal House also known as the Elliott House, the First United Methodist Church, Herron Hill Plantation and Hotel Talisi.
According to Hammock, the TRA has and continues to make improvements to the westside mill, also known as the 1844 Mill.
‘They have done a lot of work down there,” Hammock said. “From my understanding, that group is working to obtain grant funding that would allow for more restoration work to be done. We are asking everyone to give them some time.”