New Albany Board rejects bid for work on tennis courts

NEMiss.News Ray Farris at City Board meeting
Ray Farris addresses the City Board about his property in New Albany.
September 7th, 2022     Featured News Government & Politics



A hearing about next year’s city budget and condemning a dilapidated house were among the items before New Albany Board of Aldermen on September 6.

The budget hearing was sort of a non-event in that no aldermen and no one else in the room had any comment or questions. The board unanimously approved the budget at the end of its Tuesday evening. NEMiss.News will publish more detail about the budget in coming days.

Next on the agenda was a property hearing.

A man faced with having his house condemned and torn down, tried to explain his situation to the New Albany Board of Aldermen.

NEMiss.News Farris property on S. Central Ave.

Farris property on S. Central Avenue.

Ray E. Farris told the board that lawful title to the property at 1300 South Central Avenue was a tangle of legal issues. He said he thought he was to inherit the property under the terms of the will of his late mother.

However, Farris said he does not have a clear title to the property. While the exact nature of the snarled ownership did not become clear Tuesday evening, Farris implied that part of the problem was a lack of cooperation from relatives, who may also claim some ownership interest.

Code Enforcement Officer Eric Thomas told the aldermen that the Farris property is not “fit for human habitation.” He said the house is so dilapidated that it would cost more to fix it that it would be worth.

Farris agreed the house was in bad shape, but said, “All it needs is new floor and a new roof.” He said he was actually living in a garage attached to the house and had been paying the annual property taxes out of his pocket.

Code Officer Thomas said he had been working to get something done about the house since 2017, and all possible owners he knew of had received legal notification that the city would move to condemn and demolish the property.

The board voted to give Ray Farris one more month to make progress on fixing the problems with the house, However, he was told the board would act to condemn the property at its October 4 meeting if no significant progress had been made.

Other business before the Board included:

  • Builder and developer Terry Young told the board he was moving forward with plans for Albany West, a planned community he intends to build on property west of Park Plaza Drive. Young said he expects to present the completed plans for Albany West to the board at its November meeting.
  • Bill Mattox, manager of the city owned New Albany Lights, Gas and Water (NALGW), asked the board to approve a payment for work on the renovated NALGW building to Roberts Construction for $208,650. The board approved that payment.
  • Another payment for $56,430 to Eubank Construction for work on the Moss Hill Drive Pumping Station was approved.
  • Police Chief Robertson asked the board to approve spending $130,666 for furniture for the new police department headquarters, to be located in the old Fred’s Building being renovated by NALGW. The board approved the request for the furniture, which will be purchased under the state contract.
  • The board had asked for bids work to resurface the tennis courts at the tennis complex. The city received only one bid, which was 32% higher than the estimates provide by the city’s consulting engineer. That bid was rejected and another request for bids will be sent out.

The next regular meeting of the New Albany city board will be at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 4.


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