News Column

Committee formed to decide on repairs to Brock Mill Pond property

September 1, 2014

By Noah Clark, The Free Press, Kinston, N.C.



Sept. 01--MAYSVILLE -- Efforts to restore the Brock Mill Pond took another step forward last week as the Friends of the Brock Mill Pond Board held its first meeting.

The meeting served as an introduction, giving members background information on the property itself, along with information about previous fundraising efforts and improvements made to the property.

Jones County Manager Franky Howard said when country music artist Joe Diffie performed at the Jones County Civic Center in December, enough money was raised from selling concessions to pay to paint the outside of the mill house.

The board discussed fundraising options, including holding more concerts with ENC radio station WRNS as a partner and selling mill bags -- old bags that can't be used for holding flour anymore -- at various events.

Howard said painting the mill house should stop any outside deterioration, but there is a lot more work to be done.

"We would like to focus on the electrical work that needs to be done to get the mill turning again for demonstration purposes," he said.

Jones County Cooperative Extension Director Ivy Reid said the board is divided into two groups, one consisting of voting members and the other acting as an advisory council. Reid said a lot of thought was put into selecting each member.

"We tried to incorporate all groups and areas of the county," she said. "We also wanted to have people who have strong feelings about the property and want to help with the situation. The people we have on board are perfect for what we want to do."

Howard said he was pleased with the group as well.

"They had a lot of good ideas and were enthusiastic about seeing something happen out there," he said. "We're glad to have folks from all over the county because we want input from everywhere. The mill pond is our county seal. It's not just for the town of Trenton, we feel like it's more than that."

Reid said she came away from the meeting excited about the direction of the mill property.

"I think it's a wonderful first step and there are a lot of wonderful things that can come out of this," she said.

Reid said she hopes the board will help develop the property into something that not only people in Jones County can enjoy, but that will also draw people from other areas to visit.

He said the annual Heritage Festival was started because of the mill.

"We wanted to do something to celebrate the heritage of Jones County and the fact that the mill is one of the best-known landmarks in the county," she said. "Because the mill property is so small, we couldn't do anything that was completely around it, but it is a big part of our heritage and a big part of the festival."

Reid said the mill property will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the Heritage Festival on Sept. 20.

"It's very seldom open, so it's the one opportunity that folks can take to go inside," she said.

Zack Koonce, who is representing the Jones County Commissioners on the board, said he is glad to see the community coming together around the mill pond.

"It will increase the excitement of tourists and visitors who come through the area," he said. "It will give them a nice place to stop and relax. Tourism is such a big thing in Eastern North Carolina and I feel like this could lead to a bump in tourism."

Noah Clark can be reached at 252-559-1073 or Noah.Clark@kinston.com. Follow him on Twitter at @nclark763.

Friends of the Brock Mill Board members (affiliations are in parenthesis)

Voting members

Schumata Brown (Maysville Town Board)

Ed Waltz (Maysville Mayor)

Darlene Spivey (Trenton Mayor)

Vic Bryan (Maysville)

Carol Hood (Trenton)

Charley Jones (Jones County Historical Society)

Kyle Koonce (Committee of 100)

Zack Koonce (Jones County Commissioner)

Donna Morton (Pollocksville)

Ann Waller (Wyse Fork)

Lucy Marston (Historic Homeowner and Comfort Resident)

Nickey Miller (Pollocksville Town Board)

Advisors

Franky Howard (County Manager)

Charles Jones (Former owner of the mill)

Melissa Moore-Freeman (Jones County Finance)

John Eddy (Engineer)

Clifton Mills (DOT)

Paul Ingram (Jones County Maintenance)

Ivy Reid (Jones County Cooperative Extension)

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(c)2014 The Free Press (Kinston, N.C.)

Visit The Free Press (Kinston, N.C.) at www.kinston.com

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Source: Kinston Free Press (NC)


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