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City Board August 2018: TempesT over Tree SpoTs

The TempesT over Tree spoTs, sTarTed in April, will conTinue Tossing Talks aT New Albany Town Board meeTings ‘Til winTer Takes iTs Turn afTer auTumn.

Ward Two Alderman Johnny Anderson moved at the Tuesday, August 7, meeting of the Board of Aldermen to remove the oak trees planted in April along Park Plaza Drive and to replant them elsewhere.

(Follow the link below this article to learn more about The Great New Albany Tree Controversy of 2018)

A somewhat heated discussion followed Anderson’s motion which re-visited questions including: why the trees were planted without board authorization; whether the trees create hazardous driving conditions; whether they would have to be removed anyway when a third lane is added to Park Plaza Drive; and whether the trees would survive being moved during January.

Ward One Alderwoman Amy Livingston said that she was, “Tired of talking about the trees along Park Plaza Drive,” a sentiment that seemed to be shared by nearly everyone in the room.

Mayor Tim Kent suggested that perhaps a compromise could be reached after deciding which trees would actually have to be removed. Alderman Anderson agreed to withdraw his motion until those questions could be answered. He said he would resubmit the motion at a future meeting.

Topics other than tree spots discussed at City Board meeting

Meetings of the Board of Aldermen typically are completed in about an hour. The Tuesday meeting was about two hours and 40 minutes long. A number of important issues were raised, which will be covered in more detail in articles to be be posted on NAnewsweb.com during coming days.

In addition to conducting routine business, such as paying the bills, approving minutes of prior board meetings and hearing reports from city department heads, those serious matters covered by the Board of Aldermen meeting include:

  • school bond issue

    Dr. Lance Evans, superintendent of the New Albany public school system

    Dr. Lance Evans, superintendent of the New Albany public school system, made a personal appearance before the board. Evans stated that the school board (mostly comprising board of aldermen appointees), determined that buildings at the school system’s three campuses require major and expensive maintenance. Evans presented a 12-page document prepared by the A2H Engineers and Architects firm. The document itemized the work A2H says needs to be done at the three school campuses. The items discussed in the document total about $6-million. Evans said the school board intends to issue revenue bonds to cover the needed work. They expect to submit the issue to voters at a special election on Sept. 25. Evans said bonds issued in 2001 would be repaid early and the new bonds could be serviced by the taxes levied on the 2001 bonds that will be “rolling off.” Evans said paying off the new bonds would “absolutely, unequivocally, without a doubt” require no tax increase.

  • New Albany businessman Terry Young made a personal appearance at the board meeting. He said that his family’s real estate and development business is offering to donate 20-22 acres of land immediately west of Park Plaza Drive to the City of New Albany. Young said the land is conservatively valued at $1.2 to $1.8-million dollars. He said the land would be donated so the city could build on it new facilities for the New Albany Police Department and the city-owned New Albany Lights, Gas and Water Department. Young said a condition of the gift would be that the city extends the street Virginia Way by 200 feet. He said that his family would contribute to the cost of building the new street.
  • The aldermen and mayor conducted a brief discussion regarding a plan to undertake major street improvements in the city. Improvements will be financed by a small increase in the millage rate of city ad valorem taxes.

Mayor Kent said these and other items will be discussed further at a specially called meeting of the city board later in August.

For further information about the tempest over tree spots: http://nanewsweb.com/pin-oaks-along-park-plaza-drive/

 

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