NALGW open for business Tuesday, Dec. 27, in new location

NEMiss.News new NALGW building on Main St. opens 12-27-2022


New Albany Lights, Gas, and Water (NALGW), the city-owned utility company, is open today at its new headquarters on Main Street.

The New Albany Police Department is expected to move into its new quarters on the east side of the same building early in the coming year.

It took a little more than three years from concept to reality, but the city’s elected leaders and the management of NALGW brought it all together.

NEMiss.News NALGW sign on new building

NALGW sign on new headquarters building on Main St.

When the Fred’s retail chain went bankrupt in 2019, Mayor Tim Kent made an offer to the federal bankruptcy court for the 17,000 square foot building. The offer was rejected, and the court sold the building and several other former Fred’s properties to a single buyer. Then the city was able to buy it from that new owner for $600,000, less than its appraised value.

The plan was to house both NALGW and the city police department in the same building.

Once the real estate deal was closed, the job of converting the old Fred’s building into a new municipal complex was turned over to NALGW Manager Bill Mattox.

There were some snags, including an original architect’s estimate that was more than the city was willing to spend. Another huge factor was the radical increase in the costs of most building materials, which was blamed on the COVID pandemic. The first bids from contractors were rejected as too high.

Mattox and the Mayor worked with the architect to reduce the cost, and the work was finally awarded to Roberts Builders, Inc., a general construction company based in Ripley.

Bill Mattox told NEMiss.News on November 22, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, that he thought there was a good chance NALGW could move into the new building on Main Street before the end of the year.

He got it done. NALGW occupies their new quarters as of Dec. 27. Mattox told NEMiss.News Monday evening, December 26, “We plan to open at 8 am. I’m sure there will be some bumps in the road throughout the day, but I think we’re about as ready as we can be at this point.”

Mattox has built a reputation as the “make it happen guy” in New Albany. Mattox, Mayor Kent and the Board of Aldermen deserve commendation for having the vision and drive that made this nice new municipal building a reality.