Historical landmark will stand for years


Historical Landmark
will stand tall for years to come Lynn Beier, Manager Wapsipinicon Mill
This is a 1870s grist mill. It actually started Independence, Iowa
operation August of 1870. It ground grain for farmers. The historical society obtained this mill in 1975 as a donation from Oliver Greenly. The flooding of 2008 caused a lot of damage to the mill. The water levels were up to seventeen feet in height. From that it caused a lot of damage to the mortar along the foundation. So we are going to have to re-tuck point on the north side of the mill and the east side of the mill, as well as on the interior foundation that also has to be re-tuck pointed because of the mortar being washed away. As far as damage to the floor, the meal floor downstairs actually moved and with the water level raising the girts, were lifted off of the piers and caused the damage as far as floors hoisted in one area and sunk in another. We lost girts also. They were just moved completely off the piers. We also have an outside retaining wall that because of the water has undermined the bottom of it and has caused that to tip, so that also is going to have to be repaired. The additional damage from the 2008 flood, also involves the eight arches that are downstairs in the lower level. The water again has eroded the mortar and we are loosing actual stones on the interiors of the arches; and also we have found damage in the piers. There are four piers. The smaller piers that are cracked, we are going to have to address reinforcing them and possibly fixing also some of the beams that sit on those piers. The hazard mitigation that we are going to perform; the meal floor is to tie the girts together. Somewhere along the way we have lost the support between the girts so we are going to connect those with iron plates and also then tie them to some brackets. So far the funding that we have received is been FEMA’s share and that is to start the restoration project. We had to have money upfront in order for our construction company to actually start milling the products that is going to go in the lower level of the mill. So we have asked for advances on that. We haven’t received any state funding at this point but they will be providing ten percent of the total cost for the project. The state and federal funding is extremely valuable to the mill. We are, the historical society is a non profit, so we do not have a lot of funds in our account; And this provides us the ability to make the repairs now. Basically reinforce the foundation so that the building will still stay standing for years to come. Our experience with state and federal, FEMA in particular has been really great. They have been very knowledgeable, very helpful. They have been a joy to work with; cannot complain at all. They have been there every time we have called and been very efficient in their answering our questions and getting the assistance that we need. For more information visit www.FEMA.gov

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