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April 25, 2013

Tap-in waiver taken under advisement in New Albany

Brewer: Waiving fee could lead to new construction


New Albany Building Commissioner David Brewer requested a tap-in fee on a private property be waived Thursday to help usher the sale of the lot. 

The property is located at 2582 Hickory Vale Dr., and a dilapidated house on the lot was recently razed by the city due in part to extreme mold and decay inside the three-bedroom structure. Brewer said the city was repaid for its demolition expenses by the bank that owned the property, and it has since been sold to a new owner, which Floyd County tax records listed as Russell and Susan Kruer. 

The family that purchased the lot intended to build a new house on the property, but later determined it was “not feasible” to do so, Brewer said. Now the owners of the lot are attempting to sell the property, and waiving the $1,850 tap-in fee would help them with the process, he continued. 

“I would like to get a builder enticed to get in there and get going” on constructing a new house, Brewer said. 

The vacant property sticks out in the neighborhood, and having a new house built would grow the city’s tax base, he continued. 

According to utility officials, a new tap-in fee is required if a building has been demolished. 

The board took the request under advisement. 

Gary Brinkworth, sewer board vice chairman, said during a phone interview following the meeting there may be an existing rule that waives the fee on vacated properties. 

“We’re going to go back and look at the minutes from two to three years ago to see if it hasn’t already been rectified,” he said. 

Officials hadn’t determined as of Thursday afternoon whether the waiver for vacant properties would also extend to lots where structures had been razed. The utility doesn’t want to hamper a developer from refurbishing an abandoned property, Brinkworth said. 

But he stressed that the exception would likely only be made if the existing tap could still be used. 

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