2011-10-05 / Front Page

Adams Mill Inc. purchases the mill

Adams Mill Inc. has completed the purchase of the mill and surrounding property after long and complicated negotiations.

The nonprofit organization was formed less than two years ago with the stated purpose of acquiring, restoring, and preserving the historic 1845 grist mill and dam.

The property of approximately 10 acres along Wildcat Creek near Cutler consists of the Mill, four cabins, the Yellow House, the Duck House, the millrace, the dam, a collection of antiques and mill equipment and a variety of maintenance tools, supplies and equipment.

“We have undertaken the obligation to preserve, restore and operate the facility for the benefit of the general public from now on,” wrote Al Auffart, president of Adams Mill Inc., in a newsletter to donors and supporters.

“While a daunting challenge, we believe that continued community support and many volunteer efforts will allow us to achieve our goals and make this facility something we and our children and grandchildren can be proud of for years to come.”

Auffart also spoke of the former owners of Adams Mill.

“We thank Mark and Jill Scharer for all the efforts they put into the mill property for over 15 years to keep it intact and preserved and available for future use. Their patience and support went a long way towards the successful completion of the acquisition and we thank them for thinking of the public need before any and all financial considerations.”

Adams Mill Inc. has taken out two mortgages with Salin Bank. One is for $115,000 with monthly payments based on a 15-year amortization. The second is a zero interest note payable in two installments at the one year and two year anniversary of the closing.

“Recent donations have been very generous and we have generated in excess of $150,000 in cash contributions and pledges. We still need to raise another $100,000 in new funds in the coming years to complete the purchase,” Auffart said.

Soon after the formation of Adams Mill Inc. in December 2009, the organization adopted a three-phase approach to development. The recent purchase completes the first phase. The second phase of restoration begins now with special emphasis on roof repair, exterior painting and dam repair. The third phase calls for extensive development of educational and cultural programs with a fully operational mill.

Last year the organization also developed a business plan that identifies many potential sources of revenue. This plan calls for such activities as cabin rental (now available), canoe rental (yet to be developed), etc. Implementing the plan should generate enough money for general maintenance and operating expenses. Donations and grants will be needed to finish the mortgage and to accomplish the larger projected developments.

With the recent purchase, Adams Mill Inc. now qualifies for several potential grants available to nonprofit organizations. A grant for the roof’s shingle replacement and exterior painting and staining is currently being pursued.

“Today feels like a new day,” said Mary Blue, chairman of the Adams Mill Inc. membership committee, when the board met recently to examine its new property. “The mill is really old, but it has a new beginning in Carroll County.”

Al Auffart is calling on the county community for new volunteers to help with staffing the mill, maintenance, restoration, inventorying assets, disposal of surplus items, cutting grass and so forth. He can be reached at (765) 268-2530.

The Adams Mill Inc. website can be reached at www.adamsmill.org or email at info@adamsmill.org.

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