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Aldermen discuss pay raises, solar panels, tennis courts, September 6th

Part of blind S curve headed west on Oxford

New Albany, MS- The top item on the agenda of the New Albany Board of Aldermen at its Tuesday, September 6th meeting was a hearing on the proposed city budget for fiscal year 2017. The most significant item in the budget appears to be a three-percent across-the-board wage increase for all city employees, effective January 1, 2017.

The board was told that the city zoning board had approved a variance from the city landscape code for Silicon Ranch. The company is said to be installing 1,700 solar panels, which, contrary to code requirements, must not be shaded from the sun.

The aldermen were told that Bob Wages has resigned from the city zoning board, which he served as chairman. Herbert Kidd has been appointed the new chairman.

Robert Garrett appeared before the board to request $10,000 for repair of four tennis courts at the city tennis facility near the New Albany Middle School. Garrett told the board of a repeated problem of somebody “shooting out the lights” of the tennis courts. Garrett said the four old courts are needed, in addition to those at the new tennis complex at the Park-Along-the-River, in order to attract large tennis tournaments to the city. The board took Garrett’s request under advisement.

Kurt Clayton asked the board to approve a “District Wide Mitigation Plan.” Clayton, the Emergency Management Director for Union County, said the “10,000-page” document must be approved if the city is to receive federal disaster money for future emergencies. The board gave its approval.

In response to questions from Oxford Road resident Bill Robertson, Mayor Tim Kent said the city was working with Union County officials to develop a plan for financing improvement of the section of Oxford Road that is now the main access street for Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County. Kent said correction of a blind “S” curve at the eastern end of the 0 .6 mile section of road is a priority.

The board approved a plan by Introspect, LLC to convert a portion of the Hamilton Place building on West Bankhead Street to condominium status.


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