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April 2, 2013

New Albany council OK’s land use for complex

No consensus yet for paving campaign

(Continued)

NEW ALBANY —

Earlier this year, the council tabled a proposal to bond $5 million to $6 million for resurfacing. Councilman Scott Blair wanted the body to consider funding paving projects without accruing interest from borrowing money. 

The administration provided updated fund amounts for accounts that could be tapped by the council for resurfacing. 

By the end of the year, the city is projected to have about $2.6 million in unencumbered Economic Development Income Tax funds at its disposal. 

The city should expect to have about the same amount of EDIT funds available in 2014 as well, according to Shane Gibson, an attorney with the city. 

Blair said during the work session he favors using $2.5 million in EDIT this year and next year for paving, but added the city needs a solid plan before it proceeds. 

But Coffey countered that only appropriating a few million in funds would likely keep the city from catching up with what he described as a paving deficit. 

“It’s not horrible, it’s deplorable,” Coffey said of the condition of many city streets. 

He added that without a massive paving effort, council members would likely fight to reserve what funds are made available for their own districts. 

Coffey opposed a $10 million paving bond under Mayor Doug England’s administration, as he questioned whether the amount was too much for what needed to be accomplished. 

Councilman Greg Phipps suggested a compromise whereby the city bond a portion of funds to catch up with paving deficits and then proceed to budget EDIT funds for future resurfacing projects. 

Many council members stated the city needs at least a five-year plan for paving, and some said money should also be set aside for sidewalk repairs. 

A consensus on how to proceed wasn’t reached, and Council President Pat McLaughlin suggested another work session be held on the issue.

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