Aldermen deal with variety of issues besides liquor

While likely the most anticipated part of the New Albany Board of Aldermen’s April meeting concerned a proposed ordinance on liquor and wine sales following the vote to legalize it, aldermen did handle other business.

They did tentatively adopt a liquor sale ordinance, contingent on changes made as the result of the required public hearing that will be held Tuesday, May 7 – the same day as the municipal primary elections.

The proposed ordinance was described as mirroring state law without making any changes at this time. City Attorney Regan Russell said he also drafted the proposed ordinance to be as consistent with the city’s existing beer and light wine sale law as much as possible.

If no changes are made as a result of the public hearing and the board passes it as written, it will take effect in 30 days. The ABC permit form for on-premises or package licenses says processing a permit request will take 30 to 45 days.

 

In other business, aldermen:

 

  • Unanimously approved rezoning of what was described as a triangle of land at the intersection of South Denton and Glenfield Roads, owned by Billy Wiseman. Wiseman had asked for and gotten approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission to change the zoning from C-3 commercial to R-2, which would allow him to develop the property and use it for residential dwelling. No one spoke in favor of or against the rezoning at the public hearing during the April aldermen’s meeting. Building Inspector Mike Armstrong said he had received a couple of calls asking about the rezoning but no objections.

 

  • Heard comments from Terry Young about having the city formally support bike safety more. In particular, he wanted the city to place more bicycle safety related signs.

Young said he rides often with Chris Hutchinson, who is working with Tanglefoot Trail, the rails-to-trails 44-mile path between New Albany and Houston to open later this year. Young said he is fighting for all three (major) towns along the trail to be officially designated as “Bicycle Friendly.”

Young said there is a requirement for a minimum number of bike path miles needed to qualify but the trail will take care of that. “All New Albany needs to do is on a certain percentage of roads have safety signs,” he said. Fourteen to 16 signs in frequented areas should be sufficient, he said.

“I think there will be a huge influx (of bicycle riders),” he said. “It would be smart for the city to put up signs.”

Some of the signs might note the three-foot space required by law between motorists and bikers while other may just have the bike symbol on them, he said.

Several of the streets he mentioned as popular for bike riding, other than the planned Tanglefoot Trail, were on the edge of town, around the outer loop.

Aldermen took no action but asked when Young thought signs needed to be up and he said by the time Tanglefoot Trail officially opens.

 

  • Accepted bids on the sale of a 2002 Dodge Ram truck that had been seized by police in a drug case. Six bids were submitted ranging from $300 to $1,700 and aldermen accepted the high bid by Alfred Bradley.

 

  • Granted approval for Mayor Tim Kent to proclaim April 7-13 as Boys and Girls Club Week in New Albany, going along with the national recognition. Kent praised the work the New Albany club does and noted that it currently serves more than 240 young people. The local club also planned to have an open house this week to help make residents more familiar with what the club does.

 

  • Gave Light, gas and water department manager Bill Mattox permission to have the city refinance three outstanding bonds that were issued to pay for sewer improvements. He said they learned that the refinance at a lower rate and shorter term (20 instead of 29 years) would save the city about $4.4 million over the life of the bonds. The board unanimously approved the refinance.

Aldermen also approved offering bonds to pay for the $1.25 home construction loan used to build the tennis complex, but these will be new bonds and offers will be sought for them from local banks. They additionally approved refinancing the old Wellspring bond with BNA Bank.

  • Voted to pay city election commissioners. The job is unpaid but required some work, personal time and attending a required training session. The mayor recommended paying the commissioners the same way election holders are paid and aldermen approved that, giving them $100 for the election plus $84 for the training day and paying for their meals.

 

  • Heard from South New Albany neighborhood leaders Larry Dykes asking about a church parking problem and the safety of members crossing street to attend Hall’s Chapel. The church is at the top of a hill, on a narrow street with visibility problems for oncoming traffic. They have tried blocking one lane with cones but that has resulted in additional safety issues, he said. Aldermen said they would have the street commissioner take a look and try to come up with a solution.