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City Aldermen discuss zoning, signage and hiring at April meeting

New Albany Calico Mushroom The Calico Mushroom was the focus of a discussion by city Aldermen of New Albany's requirements for signs.

At the April 4th New Albany Board of Aldermen meeting, local resident Ms Carolyn Spight came before the board requesting to replace her existing double wide manufactured home on Bratton Road with a new one. Her current housing was grandfathered in, and is located in an R2 zone where new manufactured housing is not allowed. The board found that Ms Spight currently resides in Ward 3, which is represented by Alderman Kevin White. The city Aldermen decided to wait to discuss the matter, as White was unable to attend this meeting.

Mr. James Simmons approached the board requesting permission to seek grant money to fund a community park near B.F. Ford School. Mr. Simmons has already been working on the park project for several years now. The city has removed trees from the area, along with providing some leveling work. Mr. Simmons also implemented a commemorative brick campaign a couple of years ago. Engraved bricks could be purchased to help fund the park. Local landscape designer, Sam Creekmore, has already created a design for the park and there is about $10,000.00 in existing work that needs to be done. The board granted permission to Mr. Simmons to seek funding through grants.

City Aldermen hear departmental reports

  • Bill Mattox of the New Albany Light, Gas and Water,  requested purchase of two trucks that are already in the budget. One is for the electric department and the other for the gas department. Mr. Mattox also proposed that Kevin Nolley fill a position for right-of-way tree trimming. The board approved this candidate.
  • Tourism & Marketing director, Sean Johnson, brought up the pavilion and stage facilities being made available for public use. The board, while still considering how to proceed with such agreements, did approve two upcoming events. Johnson also made mention of the city being up for the 10 Best Small Southern Towns in USA Today, as well as a possible feature in Delta Sky Magazine.
  • Fire Department Chief Steve Coker stated that the hiring pool assessment dates have been posted. While there are no current positions open in the department, their goal is to build the pool, so that more candidates will be available when positions are open.
  • According to building inspector Eric Thomas, permission has been granted to TRY Properties to build a structure on Garfield street. Also, Crotts, LLC  will build a two family dwelling on Standish. There was a brief discussion between Thomas and the owner at 816 Brookwood, regarding the progress on obtaining repair bids to bring the residence into compliance with the city requirements.
    • The last order of business with the building inspector resulted in Alderman Scott Dunnam recusing himself. The discussion at hand was signage at the Calico Mushroom, a business recently acquired and co-owned by his wife. The business requested approval of lettering on a new awning to replace the old awning, which has already been removed. While this isn’t a huge request, there is a sign ordinance that exists with rules for businesses in a residential area. Actually, there’s a whole host of rules that exist from internal lighting prohibition to impaired driving due to brightness and nearness of signs. Fortunately, the signage request was approved by the city Aldermen. We only wish the veterinary clinic on Highway 30 had received the same courtesy.
  • Police Chief Chris Robertson submitted Jan Musgrove as the court department’s new assistant court clerk. She was approved. Robertson also made the request to purchase another Ford Explorer at the cost of $34,272.00. Alderman Johnny Anderson, via cell phone call, stated that some officers had voiced complaints regarding these vehicles. Chief Robertson said that those complaints could easily be remedied by redesigning the cage within the vehicles. It was approved.

That’s city news for April. There was more, but the press is always dismissed for executive sessions.

More about New Albany’s sign problems: 

Signs in New Albany, Theatre of the Absurd  and  Signs: Selective enforcement, poor judgement

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