NA aldermen talk street repair, utility improvements, new housing

Pool dealer and service man Jason Butler tells aldermen about the problems with the city spray park.
March 4th, 2020     Featured General News

New Albany aldermen had a longer meeting than usual Tuesday, dealing with topics as diverse as street paving, the spray park, a new subdivision, utility improvements and B. F. Ford School.

Most of these will be covered in separate stories later.

Briefly, they discussed the amount of money that will be available for street work and how best to use that money. Their decision will be based largely on a study of all the city streets ranking them according to need and cost.

Aldermen will study the survey and make recommendations in the next few weeks. Some streets that are in need are shared by aldermen since they overlap ward lines.

The spray park discussion came up because the facility basically needs to be renovated, removed or replaced. The spray park uses motors that overheat due to the installation and have water problems because they are too close to the river.

Moving the pumps and motors to an above-ground structure will cost close to $50,000, but was not recommended since that still would not remedy other problems.

A new, much nicer spray park would cost $300,000 to $500,000. The issue was tabled for study, but a decision will need to be made soon if the park is to open at the usual Memorial Day time.

Little information was provided about a new subdivision other than it will be called Gray Acres and will initially have housing on open property at the intersection of Martintown Road and Bratton Road.

The request for a zoning change that is needed was made by Martha and Billy Wiseman and approved by the planning and zoning board with no objection by aldermen.

The light, gas and water department continues to ask for large payments concerning the Marshall County gas expansion and pressure line construction with the planned new wastewater treatment plan. Most of the cost is borne by grants or long-term bond money.

Light, gas and water manager Bill Mattox brought up the possibility of a bond issue that would help pay for the conversion of the former Fred’s building, installation of remote reading utility meters and renovation of a substation across from the high school. Cost for everything was estimated at $12 million.

Aldermen also received a proposal from Watson Grove Baptist Church concerning B. F. Ford School. Church and school supporters want to obtain the school and probably establish a non-profit organization to make it a multi-cultural development center for the community. Aldermen said they will study the proposal and church officials will meet with the city attorney to consider how a transfer might be made legally.

The city board also heard presentations from the junior aldermen concerning their civic projects.

The first was to preserve the B. F. Ford School by making it a historic landmark. The second was to urge city officials to look into constructing community shelters for use in severe weather and the third was an art project that will restore some existing artwork around the city and add more murals to the walls of structures around town.

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