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Presentation to Trustees Highlights Plans for Mill Race

The mill race, which runs alongside Paint Creek, Orion Road and through several private properties, has been dry since late 2011. A presentation by the firm working to restore flow was made at last week's Oakland Township Board of Trustees meeting.

Oakland Township Trustee Michael Bailey and Jason Kenyon, of Wade Trim, a third-party civil engineering firm, presented an evaluation of future goals of the mill race at the Oakland Township meeting last Tuesday night.

The mill race, which runs alongside Paint Creek, Orion Road and through several private properties, has been dry since late 2011. Kenyon and Baily have been working to restore water in the mill race and maintain flow.

The presentation begin with a short media clip of about 20 years ago when the mill wheel and mill race were thriving alongside a restaurant and cidermill.

“It brings back some good memories,” Trustee Bailey said.

From there, the presentation got more in depth with figures and graphs explaining Wade Trim’s analysis of Paint Creek and the mill race. The firm also evaluated the previous dam removal plan and established flow requirements for the mill race and the mill wheel.

The flow requirements will ensure that the mill wheel would continuously turn and take advantage of the incoming water.

Along with this research analysis, the presentation also unveiled short-term and long-term goals of restoring water flow into the mill race.

  • Short term: To power the water mill continuously.
  • Long term: To operate the turbine inside the mill to generate electricity.

These goals began with channel improvements to the mill race:

  • Sediment removal and bank stabilization with native plantings
  • Modification of two driveway culverts
  • Elimination of 18-inch inlet pipe and excavation of previous channel on Nightingale property (head of Mill Race)
  • Restore existing head gate/valve structure to control flow through Mill Race

Ultimately, this would progress into mill wheel restoration, restoration of control to regulate flows, and restoration of the water wheel pond. Eventually the mill wheel would become a historic landmark in the Oakland Township community.

“The key is to work through a plan that DEQ will approve.” Kenyan said during the meeting “We wanted to come back here with purpose, and that purpose is restore the mill race and mill wheel, and bring back some historical designation.

"One of the goals is to get this put back into place so that it can be so it can be put on the federal register of historic places which then opens up the potential for other historic related funding,” Kenyan added.

A motion was made by Bailey to proceed with soil analysis of remaining residents along side the mill race, research grant funding, Wade Trim to come up with a final fee and presentation plan, research permits that may be needed to obtain, and research optional funding opportunities.

The Oakland Township Board members voted unanimously to proceed with the ongoing options to restore the mill race.

The next Board of Trustees meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Township Hall 4393 Collins Road, Rochester. For more information please visit the Oakland Township website or contact mail@oaklandtownship.org or call (248) 651-4440 for more information.

Eds. Note: The headline on this article was updated 9-19-2012.

Hot Wine September 18, 2012 at 10:35 AM
Robert, Jan Olson is a fantastic resource on the Mill Race. She is your best source on the issue, which was clearly evident at the 9/11 BOT meeting. I'm sure she'd be glad to bring you up to date. Email her at: olsonjan@gmail.com
Joseph Peruzzi September 18, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Hi Jan..I am open to touring your property, though I suspect I know what I’ll see. But at least we can meet. This weekend is out since I help organize Clinton Township’s annual Festival of the Senses art fair. If any of you other readers are in the area you should stop by. It’s at 40700 Romeo Plank Road, Clinton Township, Saturday and Sunday 9-5. We have about 110 artists, 5 food vendors and an entertainment venue that includes 11 acts over both days. Joe
steven a. marcaccio September 19, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Ann Vera, and the Clinton River Watershed Council, Should be getting sued by the Township for Breech of Contract, and Fraud, for being deceitful and lying about the results from removing our Historic Dam. Goodison is now missing a Tangable Asset from its past, Marc Edwards is a Dumb Dumb.
Clare Pfeiffer Ramsey September 19, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Phyllis, We agree much of the heat and debate on this issue didn't make this story and are changing the headline to reflect that. And thanks to the readers who are sharing their POVs on the mill race issue (and therefore supplying the heat and debate).
Clare Pfeiffer Ramsey September 19, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Char, Sarah and others: First off, thanks for reading Patch. Your contributions and feedback are part of what makes Patch, Patch. This is an online hub for the community, not an online newspaper. We do cover some news, but we also aim to be a community-driven news source. If you find something is missing or want to get the word out about what's going on, we have several vehicles for you: our Local Voices blogs are open to anyone to write and share, as well as our events, pics, announcements, and letters to the editor. If you have an event or pictures to share, please don't hesitate to post them on the site, or contact me. clare.ramsey@patch.com.

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