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Letter: Preservation of mill also should address needs of area residents
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I am writing in regards to a recent meeting held at the Hall County Government Center. Abit Massey expressed the need to close a portion of Whitehall Road. He stated the road is lightly traveled and it needs to be closed to protect it from the development and growth along the Ga. 365 Corridor.

With all due respect, sir, you must not be from around this area, my area. I am a resident of Whitehall Road and have been all my life. I am displeased with this situation at Healan Mill. Whitehall Road is, in fact, a well-traveled road by its residents. I travel by the mill several times a week to admire the stream, gentle waterfalls, open fields and, of course, Healan Mill.

A disservice is being done to the residence of our area. Outside developers come in, make suggestions and changes to our area, then leave and return to their homes in the city. Meanwhile, the residents of Whitehall Road stay and deal with the changes made by people not affected by the end result.

The mill was purchased and enclosed by a chain-link fence I refer to as a “kudzu-runner” because of all the overgrowth, long before the development of the Ga. 365 industrial park ever broke ground. If there truly was concern about the preservation of the mill, the Ga. 365 industrial park would have never been allowed to take place on such a large scale. Especially in consideration, the entrance to the industrial park is literally directly across from the 365 Whitehall entrance.

There also would have been more visible signs of progress at the mill in the many years since its purchase by Hall County. Instead, the only signs of change in past years have been removal of a house that was in better shape than the mill, the addition of a chain-link fence, and a tarp covering the mill’s roof.

I agree that preservation of the mill needs to take place. This site is a very important part of local history. However, while progression takes place, I ask you keep in mind the residents of this area. I ask you keep our concerns fresh in your mind as we move forward. After all, we will be the ones left to adapt to these changes.

Whitney Thompson

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