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January 16, 2013

75k for church restoration to be weighed by New Albany council

Horseshoe Foundation has provided 25k toward estimated $403k project

(Continued)

NEW ALBANY —

“What we’re putting in is a significant amount, but it’s not enough to get the job done,” he said. “It’s a matter of getting out and talking to the citizens and getting them involved in seeing the value of this.” 

The Horseshoe Foundation awarded a $25,000 grant to the project. 

Councilman Scott Blair opposed the measure on initial ballots because he said he wanted more guarantees that the city’s money would be matched by other entities. 

The $75,000 public grant should serve as a foundation for the project with an assurance that enough funds can be raised to see the rehabilitation finished as planned, Blair said. 

Councilman Greg Phipps was the other member of the body to vote against the appropriation on initial ballots. Phipps said he has “strong feelings of separation of church and state” and that the project mixed a religious institution with public funding. 

Obviously the church would benefit from having a restored building, but the funding is more about saving an iconic symbol in New Albany than it is to back a religious effort, Gonder said this week. 

“All we’re hoping to save is the bricks and the mortar that make up that church building, not the church itself,” he said.

The appropriation is the only measure slated for a vote Thursday. There are some remaining board appointments to be made by Council President Pat McLaughlin. 

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

 

 

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