The New Albany Board of Aldermen held its monthly meeting on November 3, 2015.
The Cotton States Baseball League and its impact on New Albany was a major part of the new business discussed during the city board’s November meeting.
Businessman Sam Creekmore, Jr. gave the New Albany Board of Aldermen a brief history of the Cotton States League and some of its accomplishments during the Nov. 3rd meeting. Creekmore said the Cotton States League was originally founded in 1902 as a minor league for major league baseball. The league has gone through several re-organizations during the last 113 years including several variants of minor leagues for professional baseball.
The Cotton States Baseball League — North Division (CSBL) was founded in 2009 and is a pro-style, collegiate, wooden bat league for players with college eligibility. The teams play a 20 game schedule, all on the baseball diamonds at the Sportsplex in BNA Park in New Albany.
CSBL brings 20,000 visitors to New Albany each year, said Creekmore, and has given summer baseball playing opportunity to collegiate players from 12 states and 47 colleges and universities.
All coaches are paid professionals. The league has 77 part time workers. Visitors to Cotton States Baseball league help keep New Albany hotels and motels packed full of guests each June and July.
The league now offers well-supervised baseball playing time to both high school and junior high school players. He said 120-150 college players participate in Cotton Baseball each season along with 200-250 high school players and 70-80 junior high players. Creekmore said CSBL should be credited with being the largest producer of visitors and tourism dollars for New Albany.
In view of it’s large favorable impact on the local economy, Creekmore asked the aldermen and mayor to consider waiving the $5,000 annual fee Cotton States has been paying annually to the city for use of the baseball facilities. The board took the request for a fee waiver under advisement.
In other business Tuesday evening the board heard reports from city department heads:
Bill Mattox of New Albany Lights, Gas and Water, the city-owned utilities operation, said work on new traffic lights needed at busy intersections, including one on Martintown Road, is moving forward, and that the Mississippi Department of Transportation has approved installing the stop signs and lights.
Tourism and Marketing Director Sean Johnson said tourism tax collections have totaled more than $120-thousand during the last two months. He said New Albany is one of 40 cities around the US to be given the opportunity to compete for 15 Levitt AMP Grant Awards of $25,000 each to support free outdoor concerts. Online voting will help New Albany be selected for the grants, and voting ends at 5 p.m. Pacific Time on Nov. 30. You can read more about the program in a story currently posted on NAnewsweb.com, on the city’s I Love New Albany Facebook page or by visiting this link: https://grant.levittamp.org/voter-registration-page/
UCDA Director Phil Nanney said he had asked the Mills and Mills architectural firm to advise on needed repairs to the old New Albany Post Office building where UCDA is housed. He said a fee has been paid again this year to Retail Strategies of Birmingham, Ala., which works to attract new retail businesses to the city.
Chief of Police Chris Robertson told the board that the city’s police dog is suffering from hip dysplasia and is no longer fit for duty. Robertson discussed options for obtaining a new canine asset. Money for the animal is included in the 2015-2016 municipal budget.
Alderman-at-Large Scott Dunnam was present at the meeting. Dunnam told the board that his wife and a group she works with had about completed an application to the U.S. Department of Interior to grant “Certified Local Government” status to the city.
The meeting lasted about one hour and, as is usual, ended with the board going into executive session.