News and Tribune

March 20, 2013

New Albany purchases lot for potential aquatic center

Town Clock Church work still halted

By DANIEL SUDDEATH
daniel.suddeath@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY — The New Albany Board of Public Works and Safety approved the purchase of a private lot Tuesday that could be needed to square-off the proposed aquatic center property. 

The city agreed to pay $157,000 for the house and lot at 202 Daisy Lane, as the property sits adjacent to the former Camille Wright pool site. The Camille Wright property is the likely future home of a municipal aquatic center, as funding mechanisms for the project were OK’d by the New Albany City Council and New Albany Redevelopment Commission over the last two months. 

It was the first private property bought by the city for the project, though David Duggins, director of economic development and redevelopment for New Albany, said more land purchases likely will follow. 

 

TOWN CLOCK CHURCH WORK STILL HALTED

New Albany Building Commissioner David Brewer said both sides are working toward and amicable resolution, but construction on Second Baptist Church will likely remain halted until the contractor is licensed for commercial work. 

Rehabilitation on the historic Main Street structure, known as Town Clock Church, began March 8, but Brewer ordered work to stop later that day. He said the contractor for the job, DM Masonry, isn’t licensed for commercial construction in New Albany. 

The project is estimated to cost $400,000, and the New Albany City Council has appropriated $75,000 toward the effort. Irv Stumler of Friends of the Town Clock Church has helped manage the construction portion of the project, and disagreed last week with Brewer’s assertion that the commercial license and possible permit were needed for the work. 

Stumler said that he and the contractor were under the belief they had submitted the necessary documentation with Brewer’s office in order to proceed with the project, which launched with the removal of the clock faces from the church’s tower. 

Brewer said he met Tuesday with Stumler, the contractor and the architect for the project, and the sides are working toward a solution. 

He maintained that due to the nature, scope and expense of the project, that DM Masonry needed to be a licensed commercial contractor. According to Brewer, it costs about $150 to obtain such a license, and there are multiple locations for testing. 

“Our ordinances require that [the contractor] be licensed,” Brewer said. 

Since the project involves work on a place of assembly, Brewer added that the state needs to be notified of the project and receive a construction design lease from the contractor and architect. 

The state will alert the city if additional documentation is needed, he continued. 

Brewer said DM Masonry needs to obtain its commercial license and then officials can determine if a permit is needed for construction. He anticipates that in order to follow city ordinances, the contractor likely will need a permit for at least the first phase of construction. 

The administration supports the project but has to ensure equality in the process by requiring the necessary licensing, Brewer continued. 

Stumler told the board of works Tuesday that DM Masonry would seek the commercial certification. 

“Which I don’t think he needs to, but he’s going to anyway,” he said. “We’re trying to abide by all rules.”