Vision and Use
HYDROPOWER. The first question to be resolved before beginning research on restoration was, “Is this dam in any way impairing the free movement of migratory fish and/or are there environmental reasons to remove the dam?” Environmental scientists indicated that their preference would be to keep the dam in place, as it would generate non-polluting hydropower in a place where it is not interrupting natural flows and migration patterns.
The dam will be repaired and hydropower (estimated at net production of 66,000 kWh per year) to operate the Mill building and provide for the needs of its tenants will be installed in the foundation of the Mill. Excess power will be sold into the grid. Restoration of the hydropower system will include repair of the dam, a new set of gates and construction of a penstock to carry water to a 39kW electric turbine to be installed within the Mill structure. The hydropower system will be operated so as to maintain the water level of the millpond, provide for passage of migrating American eels and provide for continuous water flows over the spillway.
COMMUNITY. The impact of an active Mill on the town of Freedom was in the forefront of our minds in considering this rehabilitation. It seemed important to not only preserve a beautiful, historic structure, but also to preserve an important element of the history and culture of the town and its surrounding landscape; and, perhaps, to help revitalize the economic base of Freedom.
TENANTS. There are two large, open spaces in the Mill and three smaller areas that are available for rent; the first floor space is configured to provide approximately 2500 square feet, and the second floor approximately 1500 square feet. Our original idea was to find tenants who might support the agricultural community in Freedom and its surrounding towns. Some ideas that have surfaced before, and since the rehabilitation has begun, have included: a grist mill that would grind organic grains for livestock, a baker who might encourage the production of grains in the area, a freeze-drying facility which could be used by local farms, a farm stand or country store, a small community school, and a café and cooking school.
If you have ideas or are looking for a space to rent, please click here to contact Tony directly.