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October 21, 2013

Jeffersonville mayor: Lawsuit won't stop Duffy's Landing plan

Mayor Mike Moore unveils plan, which includes expansion of boat launch



The plan, in addition to the bike path and cross walks, would extend the parking lot for Duffy’s Landing, add a handicap-accessible bathroom, leave a large greenspace along the Ohio River and include a picnic area near the water.

A neighbor asked what are the hurdles to complete the project, and Moore said the council’s lawsuit.

“This is the first time anybody on the city council has seen this plan,” Julius said. “It’s pretty unfair for you to say the city council’s against this plan when we’ve never seen the plan.”

Moore said the plan had just been drafted, but pointed to the concept that had been laid out as part of a number of projects he unveiled in May 2012. He also said previously that the landing will take on added significance with the plan to redevelop the Jeffersonville Marina, because a boat launch near Spring Street would be removed leaving Duffy’s Landing as the only place in Jeffersonville to launch a boat.

The bike path would also tie into a proposed 23-mile bike-and-hike trail proposed by Moore. The bike-and-hike plan called for bike paths and trails to be constructed, creating a loop around the city, for $3 million over the course of six years.

“Anybody that lives around here is going to appreciate it,” he said. “Your land values are going to go up. This is not only a quality of life issue and a public safety issue this is a investment in our city.”

And the plan Moore presented to move forward with the improvements at Duffy’s Landing totaled about $150,000.

Julius said that does not consider all the cost, including the purchase price for the land, which Moore pointed to during his presentation to the neighbors. Julius added that the $150,000 cost estimate doesn’t take into account any of the city’s labor costs.

“I don’t believe that includes any of our in-kind service,” he said of the cost estimate. “We have to count those dollars, too. It’s a little deceiving.”

Moore disagreed.

“I don’t consider someone who works by the week in the city part of the costs,” Moore said. “That’s their job: to make the city look better.”

Both agreed the money spent to purchase the property near Duffy’s Landing has been spent and could not be recovered, even via the lawsuit.

“We’re not asking for them to give the money back,” Julius said of the money used to purchase the property. “We’re just trying to make sure for future purchases that this is not the way it’s done.”

The council will seek a judicial ruling to ensure that it doesn’t.


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