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Durham Historical Society eyes grant for mill project


The president of the Durham Historical Society recently suggested his organization stands a better chance of locking in a grant to fund its Durham Mill project if it strikes a partnership with the township.

David Oleksa, in September, asked if the township board of supervisors would consider partnering with the society in an attempt to apply for grants that could be used to facilitate much-needed restoration work at the mill.

The 1820 grist mill, which was in full operation until 1967, is owned by the township but the volunteers of the society have been updating it for years.

Oleksa told the supervisors that he had discovered through his association with Riegelsville Borough and the Riegelsville Public Library that some grant programs favor partnerships between municipalities and non-profit organizations. Partnering with the township “would offer us a much better chance to get a grant,” he said.

He said the society wants to finish painting sliding doors and some trim and do more work on the waterwheel at the mill.

Supervisor Chairman Bartley E. Millett told him, “I don’t see a problem pursuing a grant.” The deadline for the specific grant, Oleksa said, is Sept. 30, and the three supervisors agreed that details of the partnership could be worked out after any grant would be awarded.

With an eye toward winter, the supervisors also signed two contracts at the September meeting, one for salt for the roads and another for snow-plowing.

Township Roadmaster Peter Cox told the supervisors he recommended they order the season’s salt supply from Silvi Concrete Products, based in Fairless Hills, at a price of $66 a ton, delivered. The order will be placed through the Bucks County Consortium of Communities, a regional municipal purchasing organization.

The second contract, with PennDOT, is a winter service agreement and covers a 10-year period and 12 miles of road. PennDOT will pay Durham about $169,000 for township workers to plow snow on two roads — Lehnenberg Road from Gallows Hill to Route 611, and Route 212 from County Line Road to Durham Road. Both are PennDOT-owned roads and the state agency has traditionally left the plowing to the township. If there is a severe winter, Cox said, the price may be adjusted upward.

In other business, administrator Danielle Cox said plans are moving along for Durham Community Day, set for Oct. 14, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., on the Village Green.

At the beginning of the session, the supervisors observed a moment of silence in memory of those killed during the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in Manhattan. The township has erected a memorial featuring a beam from one of the towers. No Durham residents were killed in the attack but some work in the city and some city-dwellers have second homes in Durham.

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