Prater's Mill gets some repair money

Prater's Mill gets some repair money

August 9th, 2011 by Mariann Martin in News

Whitfield County commissioners are considering a request for funding from the Prater's Mill Foundation.

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

DALTON, Ga. - After twice postponing a vote on a funding request from the Prater's Mill Foundation, Whitfield County commissioners voted Monday evening to give the foundation less money than it had sought to repair the mill.

Commissioners voted unanimously to give the foundation $6,400 to repair the flood gate, the turbine and the mill shaft.

The foundation had asked commissioners for $18,300 for the repairs and to paint the exterior of the historic mill, repair the front porch and do other projects.

Prater's Mill is in northern Whitfield County near Varnell and is on the National Register of Historic Places. More than 150 years old, it served as camping grounds for both Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.

Last year, the mill's owners deeded the property to the county, but the foundation continues to run the site. It is home to Prater's Mill Country Fair, an annual festival that attracts thousands of visitors.

Gary Brown, director of the Whitfield County Building and Grounds Department, assessed Prater's Mill last week and recommended that the board spend money to repair the most immediate needs.

"If those repairs are made, they will be able to get the mill up and running for the festival this fall," Brown told commissioners. "I did not find the building structurally unsafe."

Brown said the foundation could do the additional repairs over time with donations and money raised in the festival. If the foundation found the money to repair shutters, county workers would help place the shutters, Brown said.

Commissioners stipulated that Brown should oversee the repairs made with the county's money.

In other business, commissioners voted to allow the sheriff's office to sell 26 patrol cars as scrap.

The cars had been stripped of anything of value and were not worth selling as usable cars, Finance Director Ron Hale told the commissioners.

By selling them as scrap, the cars might bring up to $1,000 each. That money would be used in the general fund, Hale said.

Contact Mariann Martin at or 706-980-5824.