As often happens, dissension over a zoning change was on the March 7 agenda of the New Albany Board of Aldermen.
Stout and Stout, a commercial real estate developer, had asked the city Planning and Zoning Board to approve a zoning change for a parcel of land near the 1500 block of South Central Avenue. The change would allow the developer to construct eight houses on the land rather than six. The single-family homes would each be about 1,400 square feet.
The city Planning and Zoning board had approved Stout’s request. In a public hearing at the March 7th board meeting the aldermen heard from property owners who object to the change. The primary objection seemed to be the fear that the proposed new houses would be rentals rather than occupied by owners. After a brief discussion, the aldermen affirmed the decision of the zoning board, approving the change.
In another planning and zoning matter, the board granted a variance for a fuel dispenser setback for Wild Bill’s at 400 Highway 15 North.
The aldermen approved requests from several city departments to sell at auction surplus property, mainly old motor vehicles.
The board approved several requests from New Albany Lights, Gas and Water Manager Bill Mattox including:
Payment of $182,837 to Atwell and Gent Engineering Services for design services for the electrical department.
Approval of the low bid of $70,465 for the purchase of a Bobcat Compact Excavator.
The next meeting of the New Albany Board of Aldermen will be at 5:30 p.m. on April 4.
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.
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.
https://i0.wp.com/nemiss.news/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/NALGW-open-in-new-location-2.jpg?fit=1200%2C627&ssl=16271200NEMiss.Newshttps://nemiss.news/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/nemiss-full-logo-300x77.jpgNEMiss.News2022-12-27 00:28:042022-12-27 00:28:04NALGW open for business Tuesday, Dec. 27, in new location
The new Municipal Complex in downtown New Albany is nearly complete, and part of it may be occupied before the end of the year.
The Municipal Complex will be occupied by the city-owned New Albany Lights, Gas, and Water (NALGW) and by the New Albany Police Department (NAPD).
The entrance to the New Albany Police Department will be on the Carter Avenue side of the Municipal Complex.
The entrance to NALGW will be on the Main Street (north) side of the building.
The NAPD entrance will be on the Carter Avenue (east) side of the structure.
NALGW General Manager Bill Mattox told NEMiss.News Tuesday, Nov. 22, that exterior work on the parking area will be among the last items to be finished. Interior work is substantially complete.
Mattox said he expects both NALGW and NAPD will occupy their new quarters early in the coming year. NALGW may actually be able to move in before the end of December.
The 17,000 square-foot building was formerly occupied by the Fred’s retail store. It became available when the Fred’s store chain went bankrupt in 2019. The City of New Albany acquired the building and its surrounding parking area for $600,000.
Costs for the renovation are expected to total something over three million dollars.
Workers were busy Monday removing old asphalt paving in preparation for installing the new parking area on the north side of the building.
The extensively renovated building is owned by NALGW. NALGW will lease back to the city the portion of the structure that will be occupied by the police department.
NALGW is governed by the New Albany Board of Aldermen and is subject to the regulations of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which is also the supplier of the city’s electricity.
https://i0.wp.com/nemiss.news/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/City-of-NA-Municipal-Building.jpg?fit=1200%2C553&ssl=15531200NEMiss.Newshttps://nemiss.news/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/nemiss-full-logo-300x77.jpgNEMiss.News2022-11-23 13:00:582022-11-23 13:00:58New Albany’s new Municipal Complex nearly ready for occupancy
Jimmy Dean Whitten thanked the Board of Aldermen Tuesday evening for the privilege of serving for many years as a New Albany police officer.
Whitten was seriously injured while serving with the New Albany Police Department (NAPD) on Friday, June 5, 2020. After 30 months of treatment, Whitten’s doctors have determined that he will not be able to return to police work. Tuesday evening he thanked the board for the support he has received during his partial recovery and expressed his love for the community. Whitten had served as a Union County deputy sheriff before joining the NAPD. He was honored earlier this year with a citation for valor for the incident in which he was injured. See: https://newalbanyunionco.com/jimmy-dean-whitten-honored-for-valor/
As is customary when NAPD officers retire, the aldermen unanimously approved a request from Police Chief Chris Robertson that Whitten be allowed to keep his 40 caliber Glock 22 semi-automatic service weapon. Whitten has been told he faces additional surgery for his injuries.
During its Tuesday meeting the board approved requests from New Albany Lights, Gas, and Water (NALGW) Manager Bill Mattox for payments to contractors or new contracts on projects he is managing. The board approved a payment request to Roberts Construction of $280,751 for ongoing work on the municipal building renovation of the old Fred’s property.
The board approved a request from Mattox for a $2.05-million dollar contract with Night Hawk AMI for automated metering services. The board also approved a request for a contract not to exceed $2.55-million with a Starkville engineering company for work on NALGW’s developing high-speed internet service. All requests were approved on 5-0 votes by the aldermen.
Parks and Recreation Director received unanimous approval to buy a new commercial lawn mower. The mower will be purchased under the State of Mississippi contract for $12,012.
Code Enforcement Officer Eric Nichols told the board of actions by the Planning and Zoning Board. Cook Daycare, which operates an adult daycare service at 611 Moss Hill Drive, had asked the board to change the zoning of its property to a less restrictive commercial zoning classification. The daycare currently operates under a conditional use permit. Owners of homes in the single-family residential neighborhood opposed Cook’s application for commercial zoning. The Planning and Zoning Board denied Cook’s request. It is possible that Cook will appeal the Zoning Board’s decision to the Board of Aldermen.
The next meeting of the New Albany Board of Aldermen will be at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, December 6th.
https://i0.wp.com/nemiss.news/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Jimmy-Dean-Whitten.jpg?fit=1200%2C653&ssl=16531200NEMiss.Newshttps://nemiss.news/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/nemiss-full-logo-300x77.jpgNEMiss.News2022-11-03 02:09:562022-11-03 02:09:56Jimmy Dean Whitten thanks aldermen for privilege of serving as police officer
The meeting room of the New Albany Board of Aldermen was filled beyond capacity Tuesday evening, Oct. 4, 2022.
Normally, the only people at the board’s monthly meetings are the mayor and aldermen, city department heads, news reporters and perhaps one or two people with specific business, perhaps a zoning matter, on the agenda.
However, Tuesday night many people ended up standing in the stairwell outside the meeting room and spilled over to the city hall lobby on the ground floor.
Why the sudden interest in the work of city government?
Most of those overflowing the room were present to protest what they believed was a move by the aldermen to stop people from parking motor vehicles in the middle of Bankhead Street, the principal street of the downtown business district.
Bankhead Street is also Highway 178, which is maintained and governed by the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT). Parking in the middle of Bankhead St. is a violation of state law.
The way things have operated for many decades, Bankhead through downtown has one lane of traffic westbound and one going east. The pavement is wide enough to allow a row of diagonal parking on both sides if the street – AND still leave eight or ten feet in the middle between the two traffic lanes.
Many drivers, starting longer ago than anyone remembers, have parked their mule-drawn wagons, motorized sedans, pickups and 19 ft. SUVs in that eight-foot strip in the middle of Bankhead. It’s not terribly uncommon to see a 15-foot trailer hitched to a pickup truck, the entire rig well over 30 feet long, parked in middle of the street. This with cars whizzing by going east and west, two or so feet away, at 20 to 50 miles per hour. Those who have not previously observed such a parking scheme first see it as a highly risky situation.
Although the issues of safety and conforming to the law have been raised several times over the years, MDOT has chosen to “look the other way” for decades, and so has local government.
Over time, many local people have come to think of parking in the middle of Bankhead Street as a near-sacred right. Some argue that “parking in the middle of Bankhead St. is what makes New Albany unique.” Periodic discussions about possibly enforcing the law against such parking always draw alarmed pushback from folks who like it that way.
What was the immediate cause for alarm at the October 4 board meeting?
On Tuesday, September 27, one week earlier, the Board of Aldermen met at city hall to consider an application to MDOT for a $1.9-million grant. The grant application is under an MDOT program called Transportation Alternatives Project (TAP). The TAP money is mostly furnished by the federal government and is administered in Mississippi by MDOT.
The Sept. 27 grant application says the money, if granted, is to be used for work along Bankhead St. from Railroad Avenue to the intersection east of the Tallahatchie River bridge and along Railroad Avenue for 200 feet north of Bankhead.
The work would include: “removal and replacement of existing sidewalks on both sides of existing roadway, widening proposed sidewalks to increase capacity for pedestrian traffic…proposed sidewalks to have uniform surface with smooth vertical transitions, more conducive to walking and travel by handicapped constituents…to provide a means of safe pedestrian travel…while also slowing the speed of motor vehicles…adding curb islands, bulb-outs, to serve as traffic calming devices for increased pedestrian safety…”
Community Development Director Billye Jean Stroud says proposed changes would enhance downtown shopping.
On Sept. 27, the aldermen voted four to one to approve the application and the mayor signed the resolution. Aldermen Parks Smith, Drew Horn, Keith Conlee and Kevin Dale White voted in favor of the grant application. Aldermen Will Tucker voted against it.
Many retail merchants with businesses on both sides of the proposed work, believe that the work of widening the sidewalks would result in the elimination of the approximately 15 “parking places” in the middle of Bankhead St.
They were represented Tuesday night by Chuck Cooper, the owner/operator of Van Atkins Jewelry, considered by many the premier jewelry story in Mississippi. Cooper spoke in quiet, reasoned phrases saying he wanted to “keep everything nice.” He said merchants need all the parking they can get near their business and are concerned that the work proposed in the grant application could eliminate those 15 parking slots.
There is no assurance that the grant application will be approved, and the whole thing may be a tempest in a teapot.
The discussion lasted more than an hour. Board members, Mayor Kent and Community Development Director Billye Jean Stroud all assured those present that there was no intent to harm downtown businesses. They believe that the proposed work would enhance downtown as a shopping area and improve safety.
The risk of someone being badly injured, or even killed, because of people getting out of vehicles in the middle of Bankhead Street or of pedestrians getting struck because a motorist cannot see them emerging from behind parked cars was discussed.
Those alarmed by the possible elimination of mid-street parking argued that such tragedy “hasn’t happened yet.” They also urged that the way to reduce the risk would be for local law enforcement to rigidly enforce a low speed limit along the strip.
The grant application does not reference the elimination of parking in the middle of Bankhead Street. Mayor Kent finally brought the discussion to a halt. He assured those present, “Before we actually do anything about any of this, we will give you a chance to come back and talk to us again.”
A completed copy of the multiple-paged TAP grant application will be available at City Hall on Monday October 10, 2022. Those interested in seeing the full application can call City Hall (662-534-1010) for an appointment.
In other matters at the October 4 meeting:
The aldermen voted unanimously to move forward to condemn and demolish a decayed structure in the 1300 block of South Central Avenue.
Approved a payment of $252,280.25 to Roberts Construction for renovation of the new municipal building at the old Fred’s store.
Approved payment of $68,875 to Eubanks Construction for work on the Moss Hill Drive pumping station.
Approved payments of $15,010 and $78,423.45 to KAJACS for work on the Carter Avenue pumping station.
Approved the low bid of $380,505.73 from M&N Excavation for construction of the new road behind VUTEQ.
Approved the low bid of $62,000 from Magnolia Sports for resurfacing tennis courts.
The next regular meeting of the New Albany Board of Aldermen will be at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022.
https://i0.wp.com/nemiss.news/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/city-board-meeting-October-4.jpg?fit=1200%2C579&ssl=15791200NEMiss.Newshttps://nemiss.news/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/nemiss-full-logo-300x77.jpgNEMiss.News2022-10-07 16:12:552022-10-07 16:12:55Those alarmed that parking might be stopped in the middle of Bankhead overflowed the city board meeting room
A hearing about next year’s city budget and condemning a dilapidated house were among the items before New Albany Board of Aldermen on September 6.
The budget hearing was sort of a non-event in that no aldermen and no one else in the room had any comment or questions. The board unanimously approved the budget at the end of its Tuesday evening. NEMiss.News will publish more detail about the budget in coming days.
Next on the agenda was a property hearing.
A man faced with having his house condemned and torn down, tried to explain his situation to the New Albany Board of Aldermen.
Farris property on S. Central Avenue.
Ray E. Farris told the board that lawful title to the property at 1300 South Central Avenue was a tangle of legal issues. He said he thought he was to inherit the property under the terms of the will of his late mother.
However, Farris said he does not have a clear title to the property. While the exact nature of the snarled ownership did not become clear Tuesday evening, Farris implied that part of the problem was a lack of cooperation from relatives, who may also claim some ownership interest.
Code Enforcement Officer Eric Thomas told the aldermen that the Farris property is not “fit for human habitation.” He said the house is so dilapidated that it would cost more to fix it that it would be worth.
Farris agreed the house was in bad shape, but said, “All it needs is new floor and a new roof.” He said he was actually living in a garage attached to the house and had been paying the annual property taxes out of his pocket.
Code Officer Thomas said he had been working to get something done about the house since 2017, and all possible owners he knew of had received legal notification that the city would move to condemn and demolish the property.
The board voted to give Ray Farris one more month to make progress on fixing the problems with the house, However, he was told the board would act to condemn the property at its October 4 meeting if no significant progress had been made.
Other business before the Board included:
Builder and developer Terry Young told the board he was moving forward with plans for Albany West, a planned community he intends to build on property west of Park Plaza Drive. Young said he expects to present the completed plans for Albany West to the board at its November meeting.
Bill Mattox, manager of the city owned New Albany Lights, Gas and Water (NALGW), asked the board to approve a payment for work on the renovated NALGW building to Roberts Construction for $208,650. The board approved that payment.
Another payment for $56,430 to Eubank Construction for work on the Moss Hill Drive Pumping Station was approved.
Police Chief Robertson asked the board to approve spending $130,666 for furniture for the new police department headquarters, to be located in the old Fred’s Building being renovated by NALGW. The board approved the request for the furniture, which will be purchased under the state contract.
The board had asked for bids work to resurface the tennis courts at the tennis complex. The city received only one bid, which was 32% higher than the estimates provide by the city’s consulting engineer. That bid was rejected and another request for bids will be sent out.
The next regular meeting of the New Albany city board will be at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 4.
https://i0.wp.com/nemiss.news/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Ray-Farris-addreses-City-Board.jpg?fit=1200%2C600&ssl=16001200NEMiss.Newshttps://nemiss.news/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/nemiss-full-logo-300x77.jpgNEMiss.News2022-09-07 04:20:062022-09-07 04:20:06New Albany Board rejects bid for work on tennis courts
Phone calls and texts to New Albany aldermen and mayor put the already lousy local cell service under terrific stress during recent days.
By a three-to-two vote last Tuesday, August 2, the New Albany Board of Aldermen voted to allow medical marijuana to be produced and sold within the city limits. The vote came at the end of a two-hour public hearing, during which those for and against medical cannabis stated their opinions.
Many who had followed the four-year debate on the subject let out a sigh of relief.
The people of New Albany had voted their approval of medical marijuana almost two years ago. The city board had just approved an ordinance to make it legal immediately.
Done deal? Guess again!
Immediately after the board voted Tuesday night the vocal opponents of medical marijuana escalated their attack. It started getting heated right there in the auditorium of the Magnolia Civic Center. There were verbal challenges shouted at aldermen who voted in favor of medical cannabis and threats of ‘throwing the rascals out’ at the next election (some of these threats from folks not even qualified to vote in New Albany elections). A majority of those in the auditorium seemed to be anti-marijuana. The buzz in the lobby and out on Bankhead Street as people left the civic center was combative.
Starting that same Tuesday evening and continuing through the weekend, the three aldermen who voted in favor of medical marijuana and Mayor Tim Kent have experienced intense pressure from people seeking to reverse the board’s decision.
There have been rumors that one or more of the aldermen would “rescind” his favorable vote. Many have pressured the mayor to veto the actions of the board majority.
Will one of the aldermen try to change his vote? It’s hard to imagine.
Will Mayor Kent veto the board’s vote in favor of allowing medical marijuana in New Albany? Kent has supported allowing medical marijuana in New Albany until now. Ken Newburger, executive director of the Mississippi Medical Marijuana Association, spoke at last Tuesday’s hearing at the mayor’s invitation.
The mayor’s a bright guy, a savvy politician. The three aldermen who voted to “opt in” are well educated people who studied the issue long and carefully before voting.
The mayor and aldermen are all keenly aware of this long-established political maxim: politicians who reverse their positions, bowing to pressure from those who disagree with them, often face dreadful consequences.
Bowing to pressure, once a position has been taken, is usually a sign of political weakness. Those who supported the politician’s original position will be disappointed and angered. Those who have pressured a politician to reverse his position almost never treat the politician they have intimidated with respect. Instead, they see him as prey, a timid animal which they have knocked over with a small stick.
Does Tim Kent want to make himself a lame duck for the remaining two years and ten months of his fifth term as mayor? Do any of the aldermen want to anger those who supported their original favorable vote? Again, hard to imagine.
The fat lady has, in fact, sung her song. Will she waddle back on the stage and change her tune?
The link below is to a video of the full marijuana hearing last week at the civic center. It was produced by and is courtesy of Kenny S Studio.
https://i0.wp.com/nemiss.news/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Bullying-City-Hall.jpg?fit=1200%2C600&ssl=16001200NEMiss.Newshttps://nemiss.news/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/nemiss-full-logo-300x77.jpgNEMiss.News2022-08-08 02:59:162022-08-08 07:22:36And you thought the fat lady had already sung
By a three-to-two vote, the New Albany Board of Aldermen voted Tuesday night to allow the production and sale of medical marijuana in the city.
The motion to “opt in” under the new Mississippi medical marijuana law was made by Ward One Alderman Parks Smith. Ward Two Alderman Drew Horn and Alderman-At-Large Keith Conlee voted with Smith to allow medical marijuana in New Albany. Ward Three Alderman Kevin Dale White and Ward Four Alderman Will Tucker voted against the motion.
As the motion was worded, the board’s action is effective immediately.
About 80-90 people attended the New Albany hearing on medical marijuana.
The vote came at the end of a two-hour hearing at the Magnolia Civic Center. Several speakers addressed remarks to the aldermen. About a dozen people spoke against allowing medical marijuana, although several more shouted comments and questions from the audience. Six people spoke in favor of medical marijuana.
The hearing was mostly civil, although it got a little rowdy near the end as some of those opposed to medical marijuana began to sense that the city board’s vote would be in favor of medical marijuana. However, most of those on both sides of the issue behaved well.
https://i0.wp.com/nemiss.news/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/New-Albany-Aldermen-vote-for-medical-marijuana.jpg?fit=1200%2C548&ssl=15481200NEMiss.Newshttps://nemiss.news/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/nemiss-full-logo-300x77.jpgNEMiss.News2022-08-03 01:32:552022-08-03 01:37:13New Albany aldermen vote to allow medical marijuana in the city
The New Albany Board of Aldermen will hold a public hearing Tuesday to hear comments about whether medical marijuana should be allowed in the city.
The hearing will be a part of the city board’s regular monthly meeting. The hearing will be at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 2, in the Magnolia Room of the Magnolia Civic Center on Bankhead Street.
A strong majority of New Albany citizens voted in favor of medical marijuana when it was brought to a popular vote a few years ago.
Then, the Mississippi state legislature passed a bill earlier this year providing for legal medical marijuana in the state. The governor signed it, and it became law.
The new law authorizes local governments – municipal and county boards – to “opt in” or “opt out” on whether to allow the production and sale of medical marijuana. The Tuesday evening hearing is an opportunity for New Albany citizens to tell the aldermen what they think about medical marijuana. Only residents of New Albany and owners of businesses within the city will be permitted to speak.
A little more than three months ago, the Union County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on the same matter. A large crowd attended the hearing in the Chancery Court building, and every speaker was against allowing medical marijuana. The atmosphere at that meeting was more like an emotional Holy Ghost revival than a sober meeting on an important, multi-faceted public issue.
The New Albany mayor and board are said to have rules and procedures in place to see that their Tuesday night meeting is more civil and businesslike.
Those in favor of medical marijuana should show up to speak for it at the Tuesday night meeting.
The opponents will be there to speak against it. The opponents were successful in intimidating the county board into voting four to one against medical marijuana, although a majority of the board had previously indicated they were in favor.
It remains to be seen how the Tuesday meeting will go.
https://i0.wp.com/nemiss.news/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Untitled-1.jpg?fit=1200%2C600&ssl=16001200NEMiss.Newshttps://nemiss.news/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/nemiss-full-logo-300x77.jpgNEMiss.News2022-08-01 00:15:302022-07-31 23:39:23For or against medical marijuana? Show up to be heard Tuesday
Bob Barber of the Orion Group told New Albany Aldermen during their July 5 meeting, “We have come to the end of the process.”
Barber referred to the work started five years ago to develop a comprehensive plan for the city. During 2018 the Board of Aldermen retained the Orion Group to take a professional look at the city’s zoning code and assist city leaders in anticipating and planning for the city’s future needs. The comprehensive plan was the first item on the board’s July 5 agenda.
Numerous meetings and more than $100,000 in professional fees to Orion Group went into the development of the highly detailed plan. Barber was telling the city board it was time to adopt the comprehensive plan that had been five years in development. The Orion Group had finished its work..
City attorney Regan Russell recommended that the board delay acting on the comprehensive plan until it resolved what the city’s position was going to be on the legal sale of marijuana. The city’s comprehensive zoning would have to specify where marijuana dispensaries could be located and other rules sellers of medical marijuana might be required to follow.
Marijuana was the second item on the July 5 agenda, which read “Cannabis hearing cancelled.” Several opponents of allowing medical marijuana to be sold in the city were present at the meeting, apparently believing they would be heard. It was unclear as to why the hearing was not held on July 5, but it was rescheduled for the August 1 meeting of the board.
District 3 State Senator Kathy Chism, a leader of the opposition to the legal sale of medical marijuana, asked for assurances that the hearing would be held in a room larger than the city council chambers, the occupancy of which is limited to 31 people. The board agreed that the marijuana hearing would be at the Magnolia Civic Center, which can accommodate many more people.
Thus went the first two items on the city board’s July 5 agenda.
Next on the agenda were hearings on condemned houses at 605 Baker Street, 610 Baker Street, 614 Baker Street and 609 Martin Street. Tiffany Johnson, who said she was an owner and manager of the four properties, asked the board for additional delay in tearing down the dilapidated houses. Ward 3 Alderman Kevin Dale White pointed out to Johnson that the city board had been patient for a couple of years and the time has come for the houses to be torn down. Johnson promised that the house at 614 Baker would be torn down by Sept. 30, 2022.
Left to right are: Ward 1 Alderman Parks Smith, Ward 2 Alderman Drew Horn, Alderman-at-Large Keith Conlee, Ward 3 Alderman Kevin Dale White, Ward 4 Alderman Will Tucker, Mayor Tim Kent and Code Enforcement Officer Eric Thomas.
Eric Thomas, the city’s code enforcement officer, was honored last month as Mississippi’s “Building Official of the Year” by the Building Officials Association of Mississippi. He was recognized and commended by the board for this honor at the July 5 board meeting.
Bill Mattox, manager of the city-owned New Albany Lights, Gas, and Water, asked for and received approval for a payment of $356,014.25 to Roberts Construction for work done on the old Fred’s building, which is being renovated to serve as headquarters for NALGW and the New Albany Police Department.
Mattox also asked for and received approval for the purchase of one 2,500 KVA pad-mounted transformer from Arkansas Electric Cooperative for $67,207.
Chase Jeter, director of the New Albany Parks and Recreation Department, told the board the city had received two bids for building a “spray park” in the Park-Along-the-River. The board approved the lower bid of $194,738.
The board approved increases in two fees for services provided by the solid waste department. The fee for the weekend use of a “trash truck” was increased from $75 to $125. The monthly fee for residential garbage service was increased by two dollars to $11.95 per month.
The next meeting of the New Albany Board of Aldermen will be at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, August 1.
New Albany will be the location of a new $23-million plant built to manufacture concrete pipe and other precast concrete products.
The announcement was made yesterday, June 21, by the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA), which will assist with infrastructure improvements for the project.
Union County and the City of New Albany are also assisting with the development of the project.
The company locating a new manufacturing facility in New Albany is Dunn Utility Products, based in Byram in southeast Hinds County. It is expected that the New Albany expansion will about double Dunn’s current workforce. Dunn’s Hinds County plant was opened just four years ago in 2018.
The New Albany Dunn Utility Products plant will occupy the Enhance Mississippi Shell Building located in the Martintown South Industrial Park on the west side of New Albany. The shell building was built in recent years by private local investors in anticipation of it being occupied by a manufacturing operation.
The 100,000 square foot building will actually house two Dunn manufacturing plants to produce concrete pipe and wet cast concrete.
Dunn has also purchased a dirt pad at the site that could accommodate another 100,000 square feet. Dunn managers say the facility could eventually expand to 400,000 square feet, creating employment for more workers in addition to the first 30.
The new building is close to Interstate 22 and about one hour from the Memphis area. With the growth of Dunn’s sales in around Memphis, Birmingham and Nashville, the expansion will be on track to meet customer demands.
“We are excited about the growth opportunities and becoming a part of the community in New Albany,” said Mark McCormack, Dunn’s vice-president and general manager. “Our Dunn Family of Businesses have had a presence in Mississippi since 1927. We look forward to continuing our growth in the great State of Mississippi.”
McCormack thanked the MDA staff, the Three Rivers Planning and Development District, Union County Board of Supervisors President C. J. Bright and New Albany Mayor Tim Kent for their support in getting this project underway.
“We are pleased with Dunn Utility Product’s decision to locate in Union County,” said Board of Supervisors President C. J. Bright. “These new jobs pay above the county average annual wage and will afford our citizens an opportunity to work with a well-respected company.”
“Dunn Utility Products’ decision to locate in New Albany is wonderful news. We are grateful for Dunn’s investment in our community and our people,” said New Albany Mayor Tim Kent.
https://i0.wp.com/nemiss.news/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/C-J-Bright-Union-Co.-Board-of-Supervisors.jpg?fit=1200%2C600&ssl=16001200NEMiss.Newshttps://nemiss.news/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/nemiss-full-logo-300x77.jpgNEMiss.News2022-06-22 02:16:452022-06-22 02:16:45Concrete fabricator to locate $23-million facility in New Albany
New Albany developer Terry R. Young disclosed initial plans to build a new Master Planned Community on property his family owns near Interstate 22.
Young described the plans to the New Albany Board of Aldermen during the board’s meeting at city hall, Tuesday, June 7.
Young said the new development would be known as “Albany West” and would include single and multiple family housing, as well as retail space, restaurants and space for professional service providers. Much planning work for Albany West has already been done by architects and engineers, but Young emphasized that the conception of the development was still in its early stages.
The “main street” for Albany West would be the street now known as Virginia Way that runs west from Park Plaza Drive between Tractor Supply and El Algave Restaurant. The development is planned as a “walkable” community.
Young said the “downtown” part of the new development would be a mixture of two and three story buildings with retail space on the ground floors and residential space on the upper floors.
Free standing cottages, which could be occupied by retirees, would be built around a commons area in another part of the Albany West development.
The Albany West community would have an amphitheater for outdoor events and a chapel that could be used as an event center.
Young said he would return to city officials in future months with further details, including permitting needed to assure that the new development conforms with New Albany planning and zoning regulations.
The Tuesday night agenda included condemnation hearings for residential structures located at 604 Booker, 605, 610 and 614 Baker Street, and 609 Martin. However, the manager of several of the properties was said to be ill with coronavirus and unable to attend the hearing. Therefore, aldermen deferred action on these items until their July meeting.
New Albany Lights, Gas, and Water Manager Bill Mattox submitted pay requests for several projects he oversees including. The board unanimously approved requests for:
$58,581 for the street lights project.
346, 987.50 to Roberts Construction for the Municipal Building Renovations.
$197,925 to Eubank Construction for the Moss Hill Drive pumping station.
Additionally, the board approved a request from Mattox to purchase 18 voltage regulators for a total amount of $491,850. The regulators are from Siemans, and are for the new electric substation.
A group opposed to Mississippi’s new medical marijuana law asked to be on the board’s agenda to speak against allowing the sale of medical marijuana in New Albany. The board allowed the group 15 minutes to speak. Five speakers shared the 15 minutes. They were Kathy Chism, Scott Maxey, Lori Sharam, Sue Morrison and Bill Thurman. The same five, and several others, appeared before the Union County Board of Supervisors to oppose the sale of medical marijuana in the county on April 26, 2022.
The arguments the group made to the city board were essentially same as the ones they made in April. Several Southern Baptist clergymen spoke against marijuana at the April 26 meeting, but none of them spoke to the city board Tuesday night. A link to NEMiss.News articles about what was said at the April meeting may be found below.
The next meeting of the New Albany Board of Aldermen will be at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 5.
https://i0.wp.com/nemiss.news/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Terry-Young-at-City-Board-6-7-2022.jpg?fit=1200%2C600&ssl=16001200NEMiss.Newshttps://nemiss.news/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/nemiss-full-logo-300x77.jpgNEMiss.News2022-06-10 01:31:432022-06-10 01:35:27Developer Terry Young presents initial plans to City Board for Albany West, a Master Planned Community
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