Mayor Gahan Meets with HUD Officials to Discuss Local Public Housing

Yesterday afternoon, Mayor Gahan met with Kimberly Wize and Catherine Lamberg from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), as well as staff from Senator Donnelly’s office, to discuss the current state of public housing in New Albany. After the meeting, the group spent several hours touring public housing properties, so that HUD officials could learn more about their conditions.

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“It was a very good meeting with our HUD officials, and I’m pleased that they were able to come tour the properties to learn more about the current condition of our public housing stock and the issues that we are facing,” stated Mayor Jeff Gahan.

HUD officials were complimentary on the recent evacuation of Riverview Towers after the electrical systems failed, stating that they appreciated the efforts from both NAHA and city of New Albany staff.

 Engineers work to restore power to the property.

Engineers work to restore power to the property.

 The temporary solution to restore power to residents in Riverview Tower.

The temporary solution to restore power to residents in Riverview Tower.

 Mayor Gahan speaks with residents of Riverview Tower.

Mayor Gahan speaks with residents of Riverview Tower.

“We want to thank everyone involved in the evacuation and associated services that were needed by the residents of Riverview Towers,” stated Mayor Gahan.

The Best Western in New Albany and the Radisson in Jeffersonville have provided temporary housing to residents, Mathes Pharmacy has assisted with residents’ medical needs, Hope Southern Indiana has donated food and supplies to residents, and many other groups and organizations have come together to help see the residents through this hardship.

Electrical engineers have found a temporary solution to restore power to all floors. Residents have begun moving back in after the New Albany Building Commissioner, David Brewer, inspected the property. Engineers are still working to install the temporary solution to all floors, and are still searching for a permanent solution.

“We are still working with HUD for a long-term, sustainable solution to the improve our housing stock,” stated Mayor Gahan.

Systems Failure Causes Evacuation of Riverview Towers

At this morning’s Board of Public Works and Safety meeting, New Albany Building Commissioner David Brewer issued a notice of unsafe structure for the Riverview Towers property owned by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Last week, a small fire caused Riverview Towers to lose all air conditioning systems. Yesterday morning, further damage caused the electrical systems for the building to fail. A permanent fix for the electrical failure is still being worked on by electrical engineers. It is currently unknown how long it will take to repair the system. As a result of the electrical system failing, residents were evacuated to temporary residences

“Years of neglect and reduced funding at the national level has finally caught up with the HUD properties in New Albany,” stated Mayor Jeff Gahan. “We are striving to change the current model to better serve our city’s needs before these types of failures cause injury. The citizens of New Albany deserve better and we are making progress, but we have a long way to go. We will need help from local, state, and federal officials to make the types of changes and improvements we need.”

Based on the recent failure of the electrical systems, New Albany Building Commissioner David Brewer has determined the building to be unsafe and uninhabitable.

“In order to protect the safety of residents, I am issuing a notice to vacate the Riverview Towers,” stated Building Commissioner David Brewer. “To protect the life and safety of residents of Riverview Towers, the property will need to pass a full inspection before any occupants will be allowed to move back into the property.”

Working with the New Albany Housing Authority, residents will still be allowed access to their apartments in Riverview Towers to gather belongings or supplies.

“We will be working with HUD and the New Albany Housing Authority to make sure the safety and needs of residents of the Riverview property are taken care of first and foremost as we begin to evaluate the maintenance recommendations for the building,” stated Mayor Gahan.

City of New Albany Works to Improve Supply of Affordable Housing

At this morning’s Board of Public Works and Safety meeting, the city took action to help improve the supply of affordable housing for moderate to low income households in New Albany. At the meeting, the City committed to transfer the Linden Meadows Property (currently owned by the City of New Albany) to the New Albany Housing Authority and New Hope Development Services for the purpose of expanding and improving affordable housing in the City of New Albany. These steps also work towards implementing goals of the City of New Albany’s 2017 Comprehensive Plan, which seeks to promote a more balanced mix of public and subsidized housing.

“Today’s action moves us forward in the 10 year plan to improve and reorganize public housing in New Albany.  I am hopeful this project which will improve affordable housing options will be viewed favorably by HUD officials to improve the quality of life for the New Albany Housing Authority residents,” stated Mayor Jeff Gahan.  

The City and the New Albany Housing Authority have been jointly developing a sustainable plan to combat the $138 million worth of maintenance shortfalls at the Housing Authority, along with finding a solution to the extreme density and concentration of public housing units, lack of access to important services, and poor conditions of current properties. Part of that solution includes this project which will increase the supply of affordable housing for low and moderate-income families.

This property will be eligible for tax credits through the Indiana Housing and Community development Authority (ICHDA), allowing rents and payments to remain affordable for all citizens that qualify and permit ultimate home ownership.

“It is an exciting opportunity to apply for and complete this application with the ICHDA for the first development of this type in our community that includes affordable housing and the opportunity for lease to own,” stated David Duggins, Interim Director of the New Albany Housing Authority.

About NEW HOPE DEVELOPMENT SERVICES – New Hope is a nonprofit corporation that manages, constructs, and provides affordable housing in the community. New Hope serves thousands of families every year that need help – and hope. New Hope Development Services, Inc. has provided affordable housing to Indiana for nearly two decades. To learn more about New Hope Development Services, please visit https://www.newhopeservices.org/

Recent Timeline of NAHA Events and Additional Info

Bicentennial Park Concert Series Returns August 3rd!

Mayor Jeff Gahan and the City of New Albany are pleased to announce the return of The Bicentennial Park Concert Series on Friday evenings in August, September and October. 

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2018 marks the 6th year of the Bicentennial Park Concert Series. Each show will be held on Friday nights from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in historic downtown New Albany’s Bicentennial Park, located at the corner of Spring Street and Pearl Street. These events are free and open to music lovers of all ages! 

Kicking off the 2018 season on August 3rd is New York rock band Wild Adriatic along with Louisville's own Anemic Royalty, who have recently played WFPK's Live Lunch and Poorcastle. 

August 10th Southern Avenue  is the name of a fiery young Memphis quintet that embodies its home city's soul, blues and gospel traditions, while adding a youthful spirit and dynamic energy all their own. “If Memphis is a genre, this is it!” proclaims American Blues Scene and Rock 103FM calls Southern Avenue - “The most talked about band in Memphis.” Paducah’s Shannon Vetter will open the night with his blend of Folk/Rock/Jammy/Blues. 

August 17th Bendigo Fletcher a local indie-folk quartet that was nominated in 2017’s Louisville Music Awards for “Americana Artist of the Year”. Bendigo Fletcher’s sound tips its hat to its 70’s West Coast folk, pop and psych-rock influences while keeping their Kentucky roots close at hand, showcased on their self-titled EP released in 2017. Getting the night started is Quality Cable , a Zesty / Nostalgic / Chill Indie Rock band.

August 24th Ryan Marsh is a native of New Albany, Indiana. He grew up listening to artists such as Stevie Wonder, and was later strongly influenced by Neo-Soul and R&B singers such as Musiq Soulchild and Maxwell. After discovering his smooth and soulful voice in high school, Marsh quickly found his place in the realm of soul music. A part of the music scene in Louisville, Kentucky, Ryan began writing pop songs that used the textures and colors of jazz and R&B styles.

August 31st The Sea The Sea is an Upstate New York based indie folk-pop duo-band featuring what Huffington Post calls, “Two of the loveliest male-female voices you might ever hear this or any other year.” Their 2014 debut release, Love We Are We Love, received praise from NPR, American Songwriter, and No Depression, among others, gathering over 15 million streams on Spotify. Their 2016 release, the six-song EP In the Altogether, recently earned features by Apple Music including Best of the Week and A-List Singer/Songwriter.

September and October schedules will be released soon!

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Thanks to our sponsor: McNeely Stephenson
Radio sponsorship provided by: 91.9 WFPK

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Drone Day at Silver Street Park

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Drone Day comes to Silver Street Park (2043 Silver Street) on June 30th from 10am-5pm!

Drone Day is in its second year at the City of New Albany. This family-friendly event features high speed drone racing, workshops and presentations from some industry leaders and experts, and hands-on drone flight training so you can try your hand at some of the latest technology!

"I’d like to invite everyone out to Drone Day at Silver Street Park in New Albany," stated Mayor Jeff Gahan. "Whether you are an expert drone pilot or you've never flown, there is something for everyone at Drone Day!  Come out and play with the latest technology and have some great fun!"

RACING SCHEDULE

This year's Drone Racing event is a Regional Qualifier event for the nationally recognized MultiGP Series. Drone pilots will average speeds of 70-90 MPH while utilizing first-person-view goggle technology to feel like they are actually in the cockpit of the drones. Races will take place in heats, and will run from 12pm until 5pm.

 Pilots compete at the 2017 Drone Day at the Riverfront Amphitheater.

Pilots compete at the 2017 Drone Day at the Riverfront Amphitheater.

 Custom Racing Drones on display at last year's event.

Custom Racing Drones on display at last year's event.

PRESENTATION SCHEDULE

Presentations will be inside the Silver Street Park Sportsplex facility and will run from 11am until 1pm.

Evan Garmon: Drone Insurance. 

Evan Garmon works with Harpenau Insurance, who specializes in insurance for UAVs/Drones. There is a ton of information that commercial drone pilots need to know to keep them legal and flying safe. This workshop focuses on the details and requirements for commercial drone pilots.

Adrian Lauf: Modern Drones

Adrian Lauf is an assistant professor in the Computer Engineering and Computer Science department at the University of Louisville’s J. B. Speed School of Engineering in Louisville, KY. He is also the director of the Aerial Robotics Lab at the University of Louisville. This workshop will focus on new drone technology.

Jeremy Sandifer: Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) for Farm and Land Management

Jeremy Sandifer is the STEM Project Coordinator for Kentucky State University. This presentation will focus on sUAS and their applications in farming and land management.

Donnie Yeoman: Drones and Kids - Intro to Drones

Donnie Yeoman is a local drone pilot and enthusiast. This workshop serves as an introduction to drone technology and STEM for kids.