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May 3, 2014

New Albany council to decide on fire truck, paving

Grant plan includes funds to refurbish Griffin Center

NEW ALBANY — The New Albany City Council is expected to cast final ballots Monday on a $2.25 million appropriation for a new fire truck and paving.  

Whether the appropriation is approved or not isn’t really the issue, as the measure was OK’d unanimously on initial readings last month. The only debate was over whether to use existing funds to purchase the $1.1 million fire ladder truck, or to finance the purchase.

Councilman Scott Blair said he’d like to see what kind of loan bids the administration can garner. With a street study being conducted, Blair said the council and city may have other funding needs later in the year.

“I think we would like to leave some cash on hand,” Blair said, as he added a loan would have to be feasible before he would support it. “In today’s market, we should expect to get a pretty low interest rate.”

The city would retain about $2.1 million in economic development income tax funds by the end of the year if the truck is financed instead of bought with cash.

The city is currently borrowing a fire ladder truck from Sellersburg. The trucks typically have a service life of 20 to 30 years.

The remainder of the appropriation is planned for a salt and snow removal truck for the New Albany Street Department, and $1 million for paving.

GAS REIMBURSEMENT COULD RISE

The council will also consider increasing the travel reimbursement rate for city employees from 40 cents to 56 cents per mile, which would match the federal rate.

Indiana’s mileage rate is 44 cents per mile.

The ordinance is up for initial ballots Monday.

CDBG PLAN TO BE ADOPTED

The council, as it does each year, will vote on the 2014 Community Development Block Grant action plan. The city’s CDBG budget is $694,500 for the year, and the money is used for programs and projects within the downtown and midtown areas.

Some of the big projects this year include a $132,000 improvement effort for the Kathy Wilkerson/Griffin Recreation Center and $200,000 for spot sidewalk improvements along Thomas Street.

The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the third-floor Assembly Room of the City-County Building.

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SO YOU KNOW

• Due to the primary election Tuesday, the weekly New Albany Board of Public Works and Safety meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

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