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August 2, 2013

Up to $5 million loan to foot New Albany firehouse projects

Commission authorizes administration to close on bank note

NEW ALBANY — Mayor Jeff Gahan or New Albany Redevelopment Commission President Irving Joshua can sign off on a construction loan for a new fire station as a result of action taken Friday.

During a brief special meeting, the commission authorized Gahan or Joshua to sign purchase agreements and loan documents for a project that will include a new fire station off Daisy Lane near the former Camille Wright pool site.

The fire station will be needed as the city is close to finalizing a deal with Kroger that would see the grocery chain purchase the Green Valley Road firehouse in order to expand its State Street shopping center. The construction loan will be worth up to $5 million, and will also include funding to refurbish the Twin Oaks and Grant Line Road fire stations as well as money to build a training tower.

The Kroger deal is expected to net about $1.5 million, and David Duggins, director of economic development and redevelopment for the city, said those funds will be used to pay down the loan for the new fire station.

“It’s an interim for us to be able to start construction,” Duggins said of the loan.

He estimated construction could begin on the new firehouse within three weeks. It will be located adjacent to the new aquatic center, as construction is also expected to begin on that project this year.

The city has purchased six properties along Daisy Lane in addition to using the Camille Wright lot for the aquatic center and firehouse.

The five-story training tower included in the project has been estimated to cost about $600,000.

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Judy Lunsford works on a lesson plan for her students with fellow teachers, Ellen Rothstein and Adam Stephens, in her classroom at Northaven Elementary in Jeffersonville Wednesday afternoon. Lunsford, a new addition to Northaven, will be teaching second grade.

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