FALLS CITY — A new mill in Falls City? That’s the proposal the owner of a small Polk County mill has pitched to city leaders.
City manager Mac Corthell presented the preliminary details to the Falls City City Council on Nov. 19. The plan would locate the new mill on city-owned property that used to be the site of a mill.
“We were approached by this gentleman, Rick Taylor, and we are going to be able to vacate the building at the mill lot over the next month or so,” Corthell said. “He has interest in putting in a mill. He already runs a mill up on Airlie Road.”
Taylor said he wants to relocate and inquired about any assistance the city could offer.
“I told him that I doubted any assistance would come in the form of monetary assistance, but there’s a possibility of some fee waivers and things, and maybe some assistance in pursuing some different grant opportunities,” Corthell said.
He said one option is the Polk County economic development grant program or small business assistance grants from other sources that the city could look into.
The city currently uses the building on the site to store public works vehicles, but Corthell said he intends to sell that equipment on surplus. That would free the building to be used for another purpose.
Corthell said Taylor makes flooring in his mill and the facility proposed for Falls City would have a mill and a kiln for making wood flooring.
“It’s intriguing,” said Councilor Dennis Sickles. “I certainly think that we should look into it.”
Corthell said Taylor wants to move the discussion along as quickly as possible.
“He said the sooner, the better,” Corthell said. “I think that financing or money is a bit of an issue.”
The council gave Corthell the go-ahead to explore the possibility further, but also agreed to a field trip out to Taylor’s current site. The trip is scheduled for Dec. 18.
“That’s a good idea,” said Mayor Jeremy Gordon. “I think before we proceed, we should get a group of us and the manager to go check it out. I would like to learn more, and meet the guy and see what he has to say.”