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December 5, 2012

New Albany approves parks property transfer

Restaurant or coffee shop may flank aquatic center

NEW ALBANY — The New Albany Board of Public Works and Safety made a few amendments to a parks property and equipment distribution resolution Wednesday before unanimously approving the measure. 

At the request of Floyd County, the resolution was amended to specify the city will lease a portion of the front acreage of Sam Peden Community Park off Grant Line Road potentially for an outdoor aquatic center. 

The tentative agreement reached last week between Mayor Jeff Gahan and the county had stated the city may receive the property through deed, lease or transfer. 

Shane Gibson, an attorney in the city’s legal department, said a long-term lease for the property versus the county deeding the acreage to New Albany isn’t a significant change from the administration’s point of view. 

“At the end of the day, it’s what works best for both counties,” he said. 

When the lease agreement is finalized, it will likely include a reversion clause that will state the property must be used for an aquatic center, Gibson continued. 

Board member Warren Nash asked Gibson if the county intended to allow a restaurant to be built on some of the property surrounding the proposed pool area. 

Gibson acknowledged that the county has plans to develop around the aquatic center if it is built, but instead of a restaurant, he referred to the potential project as a public plaza concept. 

Floyd County Planner Don Lopp said Wednesday the plaza is a conceptual idea at this point, and will likely hinge on whether the city constructs a pool at the site. 

A small footprint such as a coffee shop or eatery that fits into a park setting is what the county has in mind for the plaza, Lopp continued. 

“Folks could use the aquatic center, walk down to the public plaza and have the ability to get a light meal and be able to maybe walk out and enjoy the rest of the park,” Lopp said. 

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