A Message from Mayor Gahan Regarding the Future of Public Housing

As the New Albany Housing Authority Board (NAHA) continues to consider a partnership with the City of New Albany, I thought it would be helpful to share my perspective on the plan and our intentions.  

The majority of New Albany’s public housing was built at a time when the needs of low income people were not given much consideration.  Public housing was built in isolation, with little or no access to services and public transportation. Riverside Terrace, for example, was built in an industrial area next to a tannery.  Now, after decades of inadequate federal funding, we have hundreds of units that are in terrible disrepair in locations that are not convenient to jobs, services or shopping.  

Currently, the New Albany Housing Authority is facing a $138 million deferred maintenance shortfall since 2010, similar to housing authorities across the nation. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), there is a $26 billion backlog of public housing capital improvements nationally. Additionally, President Trump’s proposed budget seeks to further reduce HUD funding, putting an even further strain on resources to improve the conditions of public housing.

On Monday, the NAHA will consider a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City and NAHA. This MOU establishes a multi-year plan through which the City and NAHA will work together to revitalize public housing in New Albany. The plan establishes a partnership between the City and NAHA to improve our community for all people.

This plan is not radical, mean-spirited or punitive. No public housing resident will be left homeless. The units that are slated for demolition are in such poor condition that it is not practical or responsible to repair them. Contrary to media accounts, we intend to rebuild a portion of the unfit units that will be demolished. While there will be fewer traditional public housing units once the plan is complete, NAHA will provide support to the same number of people as it does now, but the mix of subsidies and NAHA-owned units will change. This plan does not mean the City or NAHA is turning its back on our commitment to public housing.  

Our plan reflects current thinking in subsidized housing policy. We will be using a mix of housing vouchers and newly constructed units, located in mixed-income developments to help meet the needs of some of our most needy citizens. We are adopting a national, modern model of public housing that has been embraced by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and implemented by Louisville, Cincinnati and many other cities. Instead of requiring our citizens live in neglected public housing, we will build new units that will not stigmatize those receiving assistance and we will provide more opportunities for residents to access housing in the private market. Additionally, any new private housing development that received local government support will be required to reserve a percentage of the units for low-income residents. New Albany is a generous, welcoming community and this plan reflects that spirit.  

We are working with many government officials and organizations which understand our need to change. The New Albany City Council and our planning and zoning departments have incorporated the basic tenets of the MOU into our city-wide comprehensive plan. This plan acts as a guide for growth in and around the city for the next 20 years.

I have met and discussed the challenges facing public housing with officials from HUD, the New Albany Redevelopment Commission, the Salvation Army, Southern Indiana Housing Initiative (SIHI), Hope Services, and others. Each of these organizations understand the unique circumstances we have in New Albany and the need to move forward with a new approach to improving the quality of life for all residents in New Albany. Additionally, I have met with the newly elected Governor and will meet with other state officials as we finalize our plan.

During my five years as Mayor, I have been focused on making New Albany one of the best places for families to live in the region. We’ve invested in infrastructure, the downtown, the riverfront, parks and schools. Our plan for public housing is intended to build on this past work and move our community forward.
 

 

New Albany Drone Cup

Calling all drone racers and enthusiasts: The City of New Albany has partnered with AT Drone Racing to bring you the New Albany Cup on April 29th and 30th!

"The city of New Albany is a community that embraces fun," stated Mayor Gahan. "This event will be a great educational and learning opportunity for residents to see firsthand and get their hands on new and upcoming technology."

The New Albany Cup is a 2-day drone event, featuring a MultiGP drone racing event on Saturday and a team racing event on Sunday. The New Albany Cup is part of the larger FPV Race League season, totaling 5 events throughout the Kentuckiana area. For more information about the FPV Race League, please visit their website here: https://www.fpvraceleague.com/

The Course Layout.

The Course Layout.

Saturday Schedule, April 29th (MultiGP Event)

11am - noon: Practice runs for racers.
Racers will have time to adjust for any video issues, test out the course, and free fly. Spectators are encouraged to visit the tent line to learn more about drones from the experts! There will be audience giveaways and raffles ongoing.

Noon - 4pm: Qualifier Racing
Heats will begin to determine placement for the main event, a 16 person head to head race. Between each heat, there will be a 25 minute break for free flight, aerial photos, drone tricks, etc.

4pm - 6pm: The Main Event
The final 16 will meet for head to head racing. 2 quads at a time will go head to head, with the first racer to 4 laps advancing to the next round until a winner is determined.

Sunday Schedule, April 30th (Team Event)

11am - 1pm: Practice runs for racers.
Racers will have time to adjust for any video issues, test out the course, and free fly. Spectators are encouraged to visit the tent line to learn more about drones from the experts! There will be audience giveaways and raffles ongoing.

1pm - 4pm: Team Racing
Teams of pilots will compete to claim the prize of fastest team!

Spectators

Come join us for an epic weekend of high-speed drone racing on the riverfront. Protective netting will be set up to ensure the safety of all spectators. Feel free to bring a cooler and some snacks (no alcohol permitted) down to the event. You are also free to bring your own drone for the free-fly portions of the event and show off your skills. There will be raffles and giveaways throughout the event, including numerous drone giveaways!

Sponsors

Special thanks to our sponsors of the first ever New Albany Drone Cup!

Tent Reservations & Vendors

Red Bull
AT Drone Racing
FPV3D
CQR - Cincy Quad Racers
Club SciKidz
Louisville Drone Club
Drone Parts Louisville
AMA/FXTech

Stormwater Project on 15th Street to Begin Next Week

The final project of the $6 million New Albany Stormwater bond will begin on April 21st. This project will reconstruct and upgrade a 36 inch stormwater line that runs along 15th Street (from Elm to Beeler) to a 60 inch, concrete reinforced pipe. 

The pipe underwent a structural failure in 2015, and an emergency temporary solution was put in place to correct the issue. Plans include the replacement of aging infrastructure while improving drainage capacity and conveyance. A large diameter storm sewer and catch basins will be installed to help reduce localized flooding in the area. 

Construction is approximately $2.3 million, and will take 120 days.

“We are excited to get started on this very important infrastructure improvement project that will provide a long-term stormwater solution for the area and reduce the threat of flooding for many residents,” stated Mayor Gahan.
 

Horseshoe Foundation Gives $5 Million Gift to City

This morning, at a media event at the scenic Riverfront Amphitheater, the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County awarded a $5 million gift to the City of New Albany.

horseshoeannouncement group.jpg

"On behalf of the City of New Albany, I'd like to express my sincere thanks for this extraordinary gift from the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County," stated Mayor Jeff Gahan. "Their generous gift will benefit the City of New Albany for years to come." 

The gift is to help fund projects in downtown New Albany and along the Ohio River Greenway. Four major projects will be funded through this generous gift from the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County.

Additions Along the Ohio River Greenway

As the original Ohio River Greenway Project nears completion, a few areas surrounding it are in need of some revitalization. 

The Loop Island Wetlands along the Ohio River Greenway

The Loop Island Wetlands along the Ohio River Greenway

One project aims at developing the Loop Island Wetlands into a nature preservation area, and encouraging residents to take part in and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The Ohio River Greenway Project aims to bring increased tourism to the area, encourage healthy lifestyles, and improve the overall quality of life of residents, and this project will assist the Greenway in those goals. The nature preserve, in addition with other beautification efforts on site, will create a beautiful space to relax and reconnect to our roots as a river community.

A rendering for the Loop Island Wetlands.

A rendering for the Loop Island Wetlands.

Along the western edge of the Ohio River Greenway, river recreation reigns supreme. Plans for this section include campgrounds, canoe and kayak launch off points, docks/slips, fuel pumps, a boat house and boat ramp, and more. 

"For years, access to our natural waterways here in New Albany has been limited," stated Mayor Jeff Gahan. "These projects, and others like the Silver Creek Access project, will help us reconnect to our river heritage."

Market Street Promenade

One rendering of potential Market Street improvements.

One rendering of potential Market Street improvements.

This project aims at both beautifying and improving the safety and walkability of the Market Street corridor, while retaining the unique historic feel. It will include enhanced crosswalks and intersections with decorative pavers, improved pedestrian safety and walkability, all with a focus on the historic character of the area. Work will also be done to enhance the overall tree canopy with native and proper species, and improve the landscaping and foilage for both beautification and improved safety and sight-lines. 

Downtown Facade Improvements

A rendering of potential facade improvements along Main Street.

A rendering of potential facade improvements along Main Street.

New Albany has a plethora of beautiful, historic buildings in its downtown. Unfortunately, over the years, some of these buildings have had windows shuttered and closed off, original brick walls painted over, and historic character lost. Some buildings have even been painted together to appear as one structure. This project will seek to revitalize, refurbish, and redevelop buildings and facades in the downtown area, reinvigorating these historic strcutures to their original historic look, including improved windows and uncovered original brickwork.

Riverfront Overlook 

pOTENTIAL DESIGN FOR OVERLOOK

pOTENTIAL DESIGN FOR OVERLOOK

2ND POTENTIAL DESIGN FOR OVERLOOK

2ND POTENTIAL DESIGN FOR OVERLOOK

The current overlook for the New Albany Riverfront Amphitheater has served its purpose for many years overlooking the beautiful Ohio River. However, after many years, it is time to look at updating this structure. This project will both study and redevelop the structure into a more usable and friendly location for residents and visitors to gather and view the majestic Ohio River, along with events and festivals along the riverfront property.

NA Parks Now Eligible for Land & Water Conservation Fund Grants

Last year, with the help of community input, the New Albany Parks and Recreation Department finalized their 5 year master plan for 2017-2021. 

In a letter to the New Albany Parks and Recreation Board, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources stated that they have reviewed the plan, and have certified that it meets all of the department's requirements. Additionally, Indiana DNR has validated that New Albany is now eligible to apply for Land and Water Conservation Fund grants. The letter stated that Indiana DNR supports New Albany Parks and Recreation planning efforts and encouraged participation in the grants programs administrated by the Division of Outdoor Recreation.

According to the National Park Service's website, the Land and Water Conservation Fund provides matching grants to States and local governments for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities.

The fund has provided 40,400 grants to state and local governments over 40 years:

  • $4.1 billion, matched for a total of $8.2 billion in grants and funding
  • 10,600 grants for acquisition of park and recreation lands, including 3,200 "combination" projects for both land purchase and initial recreation development
  • 26,420 grants for development of recreation facilities, in addition to the "combination" projects above
  • 2,760 grants for redevelopment of older recreation facilities, including improved access for people with disabilities
  • 641 state planning grants, to produce six "generations" of analytic studies on recreation potentials, needs, opportunities and policies

"Congratulations to board president Steve Sipes and the entire New Albany Parks Board," stated Mayor Jeff Gahan. "This plan will serve us well over the next 5 years of developing our parks and recreation in New Albany."