U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney: More federal money is headed to the Hockanum Mill/New England Motorcycle Museum property.
VERNON, CT — Another $500,000 in federal aid is headed to the Old Hockanum Mill building in the Rockville Section of Vernon for continued efforts to completely restore it. It is now the home of Kaplan Cycles, a vintage motorcycle restoration, auction and sales company and the New England Motorcycle Museum.
On Friday, U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney made one of his many visits to the site to discuss new Community Project Funding he secured in the 2022 federal budget. The 2022 budget includes targeted funding secured by Courtney for 10 eastern Connecticut projects — including at the historic mill in Vernon.
Now that the budget has been signed into law, the New England Motorcycle Museum will officially receive $500,000 in federal funding specifically for the owners to make repairs to the former textile mill, Courtney said. Opened in 2018, the New England Motorcycle Museum is located inside the historic mill, and receives an average of 10,000 visitors each year, Courtney said.
The Hockanum Mill was constructed in 1814, and following decades of “natural degradation,” it requires roof repair and “infrastructure stabilization,” Vernon Economic Development Coordinator Shaun Gately said.
Courtney said he worked with the museum and with local officials to secure federal support for the project, and the museum will utilize the funding for the repairs.
It’s the second $500,000 grant funneled from the federal government to local officials and then to the building over the past few years. Mill owners have also received federal brownfield loans — administered through the state — of $2 million, $1 million and $1 million for restoration purposes. Its brownfield allocation is capped, Gately said.
Courtney is a Vernon resident and knows the mill building well.