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January 13, 2013

Gahan eyes soccer complex at Binford Park

Mayor will ask council to approach soccer, pool and baseball projects as one

NEW ALBANY — Along with launching an outdoor aquatic center and building a new Little League park, New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan wants to construct a soccer complex in Binford Park.

Gahan discussed a conceptual design for a soccer complex Friday as part of a plan to refurbish Binford Park, which is located off Graybrook Lane. The park currently has an open field with two goal posts, but Gahan envisions a more established complex with two designated soccer fields.

“The plan is to make it nice enough for league play,” Gahan said.

Additionally, the city would modify the existing shelter house so that it would be equipped with restrooms and a space to sell concessions. The basketball court at Binford Park would also be refurbished as part of the project which Gahan said could cost up to $900,000.

He vowed to spend more money on upgrading facilities when the New Albany City Council voted last year to end its joint parks department operation with Floyd County.

The administration has asked the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County to award grants toward the construction of an outdoor aquatic center and a Little League complex, which are estimated to cost up to $9 million and $5 million respectively.

The Horseshoe Foundation has not been asked for funding for the Binford Park project.

As with the case for an aquatic center and Little League facility, Gahan said the city council and New Albany Redevelopment Commission will also be asked to partner in funding the Binford Park project.

Gahan said he will ask the council to seek one bond to foot the city’s portion of all three projects.

“They’ll all be involved in the discussions we have moving forward,” Gahan said.

He stressed that he will pursue the aquatic center, Little League park and soccer complex even if the Horseshoe Foundation doesn’t award New Albany grants for any of the projects.

Once seated, Gahan said the four member New Albany Parks Board will also play a key role in the Binford Park project.

“We’re making progress, and in the next two weeks we hope to have those appointments complete,” Gahan said.

Floyd County has three of its five parks board members selected. The Floyd County Council named Ted Heavrin and Scott Klink to the county parks board last week.

Heavrin is the former president of the county council, and Klink served as chairman of the New Albany-Floyd County Parks Board last year.

Floyd County Circuit Court Judge Terrence Cody has two selections for the county board. Don Lopp, director of operations and county planner, said so far Cody has appointed Butch Lang, who was a former member of the NA-FC Parks board.

Lopp said the Floyd County Commissioners are slated to make their appointment to the parks board this week.

When asked about the aquatic center and Little League park on Friday, City Council President Pat McLaughlin said the body would be willing to listen to Gahan’s pitch for funding on the projects.

“The community, we’re definitely due recreational facilities,” he said. “We’re kind of behind the times with that.”


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