NEW ALBANY —
Construction on the Town Clock Church started again last week, but New Albany Building Commissioner David Brewer said Tuesday the scope of the work permitted at this point is limited.
Construction was halted by Brewer last month as organizers of the rehabilitation project for the historic Main Street church failed to receive permission from the city to start work.
Irv Stumler from the group Friends of the Town Clock Church has stated he believed the proper documentation had been filed to begin work. However, Brewer said the contractor for the job was not properly licensed.
Stumler told the New Albany Board of Public Works and Safety on Tuesday the contractor for the project, DM Masonry, has qualified for the necessary license and that Brewer OK’d work to begin again last week. However Brewer said after the meeting that only a limited scope of work for the project has been approved, and that he will perform periodic inspections throughout construction.
No structural work on the church has been approved, and additional local and state permits will be required before more phases can be completed, Brewer said.
“None of the city dollars are being used for this phase of the project,” he said, as the New Albany City Council has appropriated $75,000 toward the estimated $400,000 effort.
The structure now houses New Albany Second Baptist Church. During the Civil War, the church served as a link along the Underground Railroad.
A press release issued by Michael Hall, operations director for the city, stated that the work approved for the project is limited to restoring and weatherizing the existing clock tower.
“The city is supportive of the proper historical restoration of the site,” the statement reads. “The building commissioner will perform periodic inspections to ensure the safety and quality of the work being performed is appropriate for the historical nature of the structure.”