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March 18, 2014

Portion of Grant Line to close for up to 60 days in New Albany

No decision on installation of more planters

NEW ALBANY — Grant Line Road will close near the Daisy Lane intersection for up to 60 days beginning on or about March 31.

Stormwater and construction officials updated the New Albany Board of Public Works and Safety on some drainage projects Tuesday, including the installation of a new culvert system under  Grant Line Road.

The road was closed temporarily near the intersection in February for preliminary construction. The bulk of the project will be completed during the 60-day window MAC Construction & Excavating will have once the road is closed, likely by March 31.

The detour route for motorists will be to take Beechwood Avenue to Charlestown Road and on to Vincennes Street. Signs advertising the pending closure have been posted along Daisy Lane and Grant Line Road.

TSI Paving is also completing a drainage project near Reno Drive, which includes improvements off of East Market Street.

Road closures in the Reno Drive area will continue through next week.

STILL NO WORD ON PLANTERS

Keep New Albany Clean and Green President Irv Stumler persisted in his request to have 40 planters installed by the organization in the downtown and midtown areas.

For the fourth consecutive week, Stumler requested the board of works approve the placement of the 40 planters, and like the previous attempts, his proposal was again delayed.

There have been complaints about the locations of the existing planters downtown, and the city hasn’t had the opportunity to inspect those sites yet, New Albany Street Commissioner Mickey Thompson said.

Thompson — who is a board of works member — added that he’s concerned that some of the planters are too small and should be taller.

Some of the flowers and plants grew out of the planters last year and wrapped around sidewalks and portions of the right-of-way,  he continued.

Board of Works President Warren Nash backed Thompson’s claims.

“They impede areas that need access,” Nash said of some of the planters.

New Albany Clean and Green elected to install smaller planters for specific reasons, Stumler responded.

“I think if we had a taller planter, someone may push it over,” said Stumler, who ran for mayor in 2011, and who has been at odds with the administration over issues primarily relating to the cleanliness of the city on multiple occasions.

Thompson vowed that he would inspect the planter sites today along with New Albany Building Commissioner David Brewer, and that they would likely have an answer for Stumler next week.

Stumler also mentioned concerns about removing trash and litter from downtown streets.

He produced a petition with about 50 signatures of New Albany residents who would like to see streets cleaned on a more regular basis.

Thompson defended the city’s efforts, and said that pictures produced by Stumler and given to the board were from after a recent snowstorm.

“We take pride in keeping the streets clean,” Thompson said.

Nash added that downtown merchants should assist in keeping the areas around their shops tidy.

“We can’t do everything for everybody,” he said.

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