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Woolery Stone Mill Gets More Time To Make Renovations

Woolery Stone Mill in Bloomington.

The Woolery Stone Mill in Bloomington now has more time to take advantage of a 10-year tax abatement that was originally granted in 2004.

The former limestone mill has until Dec. 31, 2018 to begin property renovations at the mill’s site on Tapp Road in order to benefit from the tax reduction. The Bloomington City Council approved the time extension with a 6-2 vote Wednesday.

So far there have been no economic benefits to owner Randy Cassady because the project has not started and they have not filed for the abatement.

Cassady says the change in the economy and other obstacles have prevented the $6 million project from commencing. He cites one example of the delays include the historic designation process, which took 18 months.

“There have been several hurdles that have been in the way, but we’ve continued to maintain it, take care of it and take care of paying our taxes,” said Cassady. “It’s still a project that is worthwhile.”

The original proposal included plans to renovate the limestone mill and create a multi-use community area with a hotel, restaurant, fitness center and condominiums.

Council Member Andy Ruff is one of the two who voted against the project. He voiced concern about the living wage ordinance and how third party employers, specifically at the proposed hotel, would not be held to this standard.

Since any businesses on the property would be contracted by the land owners and not the city, the ordinance does not officially apply.

“Unfortunately this is a large loop hole that we will need to figure out how to address in a more affective way,” said Ruff.  “There is no way I can vote yes on this one.”

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