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January 5, 1998

Front Page

Preston Mill site purchased by county

  PRESTON--The historic Preston Mill site has been purchased by the county, King County Executive Ron Sims announced last week. The purchase is the first acquisition toward the realization of the Preston Vision, a long-term plan for the revitalization of the Preston community, Sims said. Located on the salmon-bearing Raging River, Preston Mill was threatened by industrial redevelopment before a partnership effort emerged to protect the land.
  
   One year ago, the non-profit Trust for Public Land (TPL) purchased the property after plans were announced for a potential gravel storage and rock crushing facility there and sold the land to King County after removing contaminated soils from the century-old mill site. Before selling the property to King County, the Trust for Public Land conducted an environmental cleanup of the property in compliance with Department of Ecology standards. In the cleanup process, TPL spent more than $150,000 to dispose of 700 tons of contaminated soil, underground storage containers and surface debris.
  
   King County received a grant of $450,000 from a fund created by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), and approved by the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Puget Sound Regional Council to supplement the purchase of Preston Mill. The ISTEA award designation for Preston recognized the importance of helping to restore the character of a small historic town, after a major freeway bisected the community and caused changes in zoning from rural to commercial status.