By DANIEL SUDDEATH
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.”
SIGN BLITZ SLATED FOR FRIDAY
The New Albany Street Department will hold its third sign blitz under Mayor Jeff Gahan’s administration Friday.
Signs and advertisements illegally placed in public rights of way and on telephone polls will be removed during the blitz. The collected signs will be stored at the street department for 30 days, after which they will be destroyed if not claimed.
“We just want to do our part to ensure that New Albany is an attractive place for its residents and visitors,” stated Street Department Commissioner Mickey Thompson in a news release.
According to the city, the last two sign blitzes led to the removal of 150 signs from public rights of way.
GATEWAY PROJECT AHEAD OF SCHEDULE
The reconfiguration of the eastern entrance to New Albany from Clark County could be finished by Saturday, which would mean the project would wrap up a week ahead of schedule.
When TSI Paving was awarded the project in February, the goal was to have the gateway makeover completed by the Kentucky Derby, which takes place May 6.
The project includes new medians, signage and the extension of curbs along Spring Street. The board of works approved a $26,000 change order for the project Tuesday, as the additional funding will foot the removal of another median and more demolition work.
TSI’s low bid for the project was $174,994.