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New Albany Board of Aldermen meeting, August 4, 2015

City Hall, New Albany, MS

Apparently a fee of $20,000 paid to a Birmingham retail recruiting firm is paying dividends for New Albany.

The city’s Board of Aldermen was told Tuesday evening, August 4, that Popeye’s, a family chicken restaurant headquartered in New Orleans, recently opened successfully in New Albany. Popeyes was recruited to build a new restaurant here by Retail Strategies of Birmingham, AL. The city, through the Union County Development Association (UCDA), has a three-year agreement with Retail Strategies.

Another restaurant chain best known for serving fried chicken was also recruited to the city by Retail Strategies.  Zaxby’s, a Georgia chain, was persuaded by the Birmingham recruiting firm to locate a new store in New Albany. Zaxby’s is expected to open its new restaurant serving chicken and sandwiches late this year or in early 2016.

Tourism Director Sean Johnson told the aldermen that tourism tax dollars saw a July increase of 12% over last year. Johnson said the total amount collected was $63,867. Johnson also informed the board of an added feature of the City of New Albany website currently being developed. He said utility customers will be able to pay their utility bills online, without having to drive through the awkwardly positioned drive through window at the NALGW building ever again. The cost to pay online is currently four dollars, which could be considered a small price to pay compared to ruining a fender making a sharp turn into the NALGW drive through.

Chief of Police Chris Robertson submitted grant figures for a DUI officer, which would include the officer’s salary, overtime, training and equipment.

New street names for the Parkview Subdivision being developed on Bratton Road were presented to the Board: the new streets will be Parkview Lane, Rainey Lane and Cuthbert Drive. The names embrace a bit of New Albany’s heritage, notably Cuthbert, being writer William Faulkner’s middle name.

Among other city business discussions was a plaque to be erected at the Spray Park in honor of the late Alderman Tommie Beasley, as Mr. Beasley was instrumental in getting the park established.

There was more talk of parking violations in downtown New Albany, with possible increased fines, and there was discussion about how to handle repeat offenders. The board discussed the option of hiring a part-time officer on the job to chalk mark tires of cars, so overtime parking violators can be dealt with.

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