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January 24, 2013

New Albany parks plans progressing

Camille Wright site considered for pool, Hoosier Panel property for Little League fields

NEW ALBANY — A bond for a Little League ballpark, two soccer fields and an aquatic center in New Albany could be paid off with tax-increment financing revenue. 

The New Albany Redevelopment Commission took the first step to include the proposed facilities into its TIF funding plan Wednesday during a meeting that touched on several key infrastructure issues in the city. 

Mayor Jeff Gahan’s plan for the facilities includes the construction of a Little League park that could cost up to $5 million, an aquatic center priced at up to $9 million and the addition of two soccer fields at Binford Park that would be about a $900,000 expense. 

The body will first be asked to follow the redevelopment commission and approve adding the projects to the TIF plan, but Gahan said the New Albany City Council could receive a bond request within 60 days. 

“Right now we’re moving forward with the understanding that we are quite capable of completing these projects with the financial strength of the city of New Albany and the redevelopment commission,” Gahan said. 

But the TIF plan isn’t just about facilities. It also includes a renewed focus on paving roads. Councilman and redevelopment member Dan Coffey requested that the TIF funding plan also reiterate that road improvements are a potentially eligible project. 

He said the council prioritizes paving, and really prefers that a large-scale resurfacing project be included in the bond for the soccer fields, aquatic center and Little League park. 

“The council wants a complete bond issue, not to roll out two bond issues,” Coffey said. 

Road improvements have been funded with TIF funds often in the past, but paving is what Coffey emphasized. 

David Duggins, director of economic development and redevelopment for the city, said the administration has begun updating a prior paving index of New Albany. 

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