News and Tribune

Floyd County

April 6, 2014

Final vote on sewer territory expansion expected from New Albany council

Council also slated to vote on buying police cars

NEW ALBANY — City officials believe they have satisfied Georgetown’s concerns when it comes to New Albany’s attempt at extending its sewer jurisdiction.

The New Albany City Council is slated to cast the final ballot Monday on an ordinance that would allow the city’s sewer utility to claim some territory within four miles of the municipality’s border.

The move is based on an Indiana Court Appeals decision reached in December which allows cities and towns to claim sewer jurisdiction within four miles of its boundaries as long as its the first to do so.

The ordinance was approved 6-2 on initial readings last month, with Councilmen Kevin Zurschmiede and Dan Coffey voting against it.

There were concerns raised by some about extending urban sewer service further into the county. Georgetown officials also stated concern about how the move would affect its territory.

Mayor Jeff Gahan — who is the New Albany Sewer Board chair — said Georgetown and city officials have met since the initial readings on the ordinance to prepare the wastewater jurisdiction map that could be adopted tonight.

“I think the plan right now is to get the third reading under [the council’s] belt, and Georgetown will adopt the same boundary at a later date,” Gahan said Friday. “This has worked out exactly the way it’s supposed to. Our neighbors and friends in Georgetown are happy, and so are we.”

Zurschmiede said he voted against the ordinance on initial readings because he was concerned about what it would mean for Georgetown. After speaking with sewer board members about the map, he said he may change his vote tonight.

“If they provide us with a good plan that meets our needs and Georgetown’s needs, I will be able to vote for it,” Zurschmiede said.

Floyd County Commissioners expressed some reservations about New Albany’s expansion of sewer territory during a meeting last week.

On Friday, Commissioner Steve Bush said New Albany has the right to expand its jurisdiction, but added that residents should have been better informed of the move before votes were taken.

“To me, that’s not enough time for folks to learn what’s going on and be able to have a voice on what’s going on out in the county,” Bush said. “As a county commissioner, we want to have some protection for the citizens out there, and also we want them to have a voice.”

ON THE AGENDA

Councilman Dan Coffey has asked for the final reading on a $450,000 appropriation to purchase new police cars, however he’s pulled the ordinance multiple times in recent months.

The appropriation was approved on initial readings in December.

There are no resolutions or ordinances on the agenda concerning the downtown Farmers Market, as the council entertained a lengthy discussion about expanding or moving the structure last month.

The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the third-floor Assembly Room of the City-County Building.

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