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April 19, 2013

New Albany council won’t bond paving

City might purchase more tornado sirens

NEW ALBANY —

The New Albany City Council decided Thursday against borrowing $5.7 million to pave streets this year. 

Instead, the council approved a resolution declaring its intention to allocate $2 million in existing Economic Development Income Tax funds for resurfacing and sidewalk projects. 

Shane Gibson, an attorney with the city, wrote an amended version to the council resolution that called for a $5.7 million bond to be used to foot a paving campaign. 

The council had the choice of voting for the bond measure or replacing it with the amended EDIT resolution, and it chose the latter. 

Gibson said the administration will now be able to prepare bid documents and other planning materials related to paving since EDIT has been targeted as the funding mechanism. 

Several council members had stated their opposition to borrowing money with cash on hand in the EDIT account that could be tapped instead. 

Councilman Greg Phipps sponsored the resolution, and said he had no qualms with removing the bond from the measure. 

But he favored passing the EDIT amendment as a way to speed up the process. 

“I think it’s imperative that we get started on this very soon,” Phipps said. 

The ordinance to actually appropriate the $2 million from EDIT should be on the council’s agenda for a first reading on May 6, Gibson said. 

The council will hold a work session next week to prepare suggestions of which roads should be paved. 

With most major roads in the city having been resurfaced in recent years, Street Department Commissioner Mickey Thompson said alleys and local streets will likely be the focal points for 2013 paving efforts. 

The administration is also planning a major project for Main Street, which Gibson said will push spending on resurfacing in 2013 to more than $3 million. 

The Main Street project — which will be unveiled next month during public forums — will be paid for with money the city received from the state when New Albany assumed control of a portion of Ind. 111. 

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