Improved Internal Controls and Asset Inventory List

The City of New Albany is taking additional steps to enhance its internal financial controls. As defined by the Department of Local Government Finance, internal control is a process executed by officials and employees that is designed to provide reasonable assurance that the objectives of a political subdivision will be achieved. While the city has strong internal controls currently in place, we are working to standardize and provide a uniform control procedure for all departments that will mirror other similar communities throughout the state.

The City has partnered with Crowe Horwath, a professional CPA firm who has assisted other communities in improving their operations and internal controls. Internal controls provide mechanisms for more government accountability and transparency, encourages efficient use of government time and resources, and can help reduce operating costs. 

Additionally, the City has partnered with T.M. Wells Valuation Services to improve and standardize our asset inventory list. This list will document all assets (vehicles, equipment, computers, etc.) that are owned, managed, or otherwise used by city departments. This improved and standardized inventory will assist in providing a record of valuable assets for accounting and tracking purposes and can lead to reduced operational costs.

“The City of New Albany controller’s office, along with the department directors, are working every day to improve performance standards and efficiencies in every way,” stated Mayor Jeff Gahan. 

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Bicentennial Park Summer Concert Series

Mayor Jeff M. Gahan and the City of New Albany, along with proud radio partner 91.9 WFPK, are pleased to announce the return of The Bicentennial Park Summer Concert Series – Fridays in June, July*, August and September.*(Due to the Riverfront Independence Day Celebration, there will be no concert at Bicentennial Park on 7/1)

bicparkjune2016

This year marks the 4th year of the Bicentennial Park Summer Concert Series. Each show will be held on Friday nights from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. throughout the summer 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! Thanks to our sponsors McNeely Stephenson and the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County.

June shows begin on the 10th with Wild Adriatic. Wild Adriatic is a rocking blues and soul band from Upstate New York. "Flawlessly tight with infectious melodies & tons of soul." - Relix "Full of rocking blues, soul, and depth." - Huffington Post "An act to get behind." - USAToday

On the 17th, vintage pop band Fredrick The Younger will perform. Fredrick The Younger has no shortage of guitar hooks, ambient washes, and bombastic drumming. Their infectious rhythm section and jangly guitars are the perfect companion to Jenni’s lush vocals that harken back to an earlier time. Their songs blend vintage pop melodies, unique harmonies, and uncommon chord changes and are as explosive as they are intimate. Treading a broad sonic landscape, their live performances keep the energy high while still embracing the vulnerable moments.

And rounding out the June shows on the 24th is Vessel. Vessel in its current configuration came together as some of the best players in Louisville at the time, each in successful bands, ended up jamming with each other. The Magic was easily recognizable, and their repertoire has grown to over 100 original songs, ranging from bluegrass to funk to electronica and elsewhere.

Bono Road Reconstruction to Begin

A full reconstruction of Bono Road is set to begin this summer.  The project will begin on May 16th, necessitating a closure of the road so that the project can commence.  During this project, gas lines and a new water main will also be installed alongside the roadway. The roadway itself will receive a full-depth reconstruction and re-paving.  Re-paving alone would not have sufficed for this project, as the base itself was failing, causing potholes and cracks in the roadway.

The project is expected to take until mid-November.  During construction, travel on Bono Road will be limited to local access only.  For all other traffic, a detour will take motorists from Green Valley Road to Daisy Lane to Graybrook.  The full detour route is below.

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Improvements to Fairview and West Haven Cemeteries

Fairview Cemetery and West Haven Cemetery will undergo renovations this summer. 

At Fairview Cemetery, the City is repairing and installating a new ceiling for the mausoleum after the current ceiling suffered water damage.  Additionally, the historic, decorative stone retaining wall is being shored up and repaired with like-materials.  The City is also replacing a chain-link portion of fencing with a new metal fencing that will match the historic rod-iron.  Additionally, all rod-iron throughout the cemetery will be repaired and restored. 

At West Haven, the City is milling and resurfacing the roadway into the cemetery.  As you enter the cemetery, there will be a new arched-style gate (similar to the current one at Fairview) installed, and the current chain-link fence will be replaced with decorative metal fencing.

“It’s very important that we are respectful to those who take great pride in making New Albany their longtime home, and equally as important to be respectful to those who choose to make New Albany their final resting place,” stated Mayor Gahan.

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Long Term Housing Strategy

The City of New Albany has entered into a contractual agreement with Patrick Costigan and CF Housing Group, headquartered in Washington, DC to assist the New Albany Housing Authority in planning a strategy to meet the capital maintenance needs of the public housing authority.

The goal is to present a plan to HUD which satisfies all public housing requirements and improves the living conditions for all residents and citizens of New Albany. Scott Wood, Director of Planning and Zoning, along with David Duggins, Director of Economic Development and Redevelopment will facilitate and coordinate the adoption of the new plan into the city’s new comprehensive plan, which is already in the beginning stages.  The City is hopeful that a working document will be produced for review by July of 2016.

“We are looking forward to a practical plan for improvement to the public housing stock and a long term strategy for a healthier City of New Albany,” stated Mayor Jeff Gahan.

About Patrick Costigan… Patrick Costigan has nearly 35 years of experience in affordable housing and community development policy, program design, implementation and administrative management. While at HUD, Costigan led the effort to establish and build-out the Rental Assistance Demonstration, or RAD, which enables public housing authorities and private owners to preserve critical affordable housing across the country.

Costigan also worked to maintain support for Choice Neighborhoods and other HUD priorities on Capitol Hill, and helped internally integrate an array of public and assisted housing recapitalization programs. Additionally, he served as HUD’s point-person in helping the San Francisco Housing Authority and Mayor Edwin Lee begin to reposition over 4,500 units of public housing in the Bay Area. Costigan holds master’s degrees in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and in community planning from the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning at the University of Cincinnati.

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State of Indiana Continues Repairs to Failed Stormwater Pipe

The State of Indiana continues repairs on their failed stormwater pipe near Commerce Street. To repair the pipe, the state has been shoring the area with steel to allow heavy equipment to access the failed infrastructure. Due to the depth of the pipe, a large number of shoring is required to meet federal safety requirements to complete the repair.

Currently, the state has not yet completed the amount of shoring necessary to satisfy OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Due to this, they cannot move their heavy equipment deep enough into the collapsed pipe to fully clear the drainage path. Water flow is still severely restricted along the drainage path.

With forecasts predicting heavy rains on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, the City has again deployed two, 6” diameter water pumps to the area to help divert excess stormwater. The State of Indiana is bringing another 12” diameter pump to assist.

“We will continue to do everything we can to assist residents in the area while the State of Indiana continues this important infrastructure repair project,” stated Joe Ham, Stormwater Coordinator for the City of New Albany.

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New Albany to Complete Ohio River Greenway Commitment

The City of New Albany has begun preliminary work to prepare for the final planned section of New Albany’s portion of the Ohio River Greenway Project. This project will extend the section that currently ends near E. 8th Street. The project features a limited road and extension of the Greenway multi-use path. In preparation for this project, some trees are being cleared along the construction path in advance of the May letting as required to prevent adverse impact to the Indiana Bat, and replacement trees will be planted as part of this project. The City of Clarksville is anticipated to complete the bridge across Silver Creek that will connect the New Albany and Clarksville portions of the Greenway.

The project is scheduled to be let this May, with construction beginning this summer. This section of the project is an 80/20 match, with INDOT funds covering 80% of the project cost and New Albany responsible for the other 20%. Construction is estimated to take approximately 1.5 years.

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Neighborhood Cleanup Scheduled for April 23

With winter subsiding and spring arriving, it’s time for some Spring Cleaning in New Albany. On Saturday, April 23rd from 8 am - 1 pm, the City of New Albany will host a neighborhood cleanup throughout the downtown, midtown, and uptown areas. The cleanup will focus on the areas from Scribner Drive to Vincennes Street and Billy Herman Ballpark to the Ohio River.

Residents are encouraged to join the fun by creating teams to assist in the neighborhood cleanup. Those interested in participating should e-mail Courtney Lewis at CLewis@cityofnewalbany.com with the subject line “Neighborhood Cleanup.” All registered teams will be provided with a t-shirt and gear to assist in the cleanup, but are encouraged to bring gardening/work gloves.

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Internet Speed Increases Coming to New Albany TWC Customers

Nearly a week ago, Time Warner Cable announced that it was offering a six-fold boost in broadband speed to customers in Louisville and Jeffersonville at no cost to its customers.  The City of New Albany is very pleased to announce that those same increases will be brought to customers in New Albany at no cost.

“Since as early as 2013, I have pushed for increased internet speeds, and recognize the economic impact that this infrastructure can bring to a community,” stated Mayor Gahan.  “We are very happy that Time Warner Cable will be extending this speed increase to New Albany.”

Time Warner Cable has dubbed the increase TWC Maxx, with area vice president Mark Dunford stating, “We will boost Internet speeds for customers up to six times faster, dramatically improve the TV product, and set a high bar in our industry for differentiated, exceptional customer service.”

According to Time Warner Cable, “The transformation will include speed increases on TWC residential Internet plans, with customers experiencing increases up to six times faster, depending on their current level of Internet service. For example, customers who subscribe to Standard, formerly up to 15 megabytes per second, will receive up to 50 Mbps; customers who subscribe to Extreme, formerly up to 30 Mbps, will receive up to 200 Mbps; and customers who subscribe to Ultimate, formerly up to 50 Mbps, will receive up to 300 Mbps, with no change in their monthly plan price.”

Time Warner Cable has notified the City that the speed increases should be live within the next two months.  Some broadband customers will need to switch out their modems to receive the faster speeds.

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Mayor Gahan signs Rental Registration

This morning, Mayor Gahan signed into law G-15-05, an ordinance Adopting Chapter 160: Rental Housing Code.  This ordinance requires the registration of any property in the city which will be rented to tenants. 

Mayor Gahan signs G-15-05 into law.

Mayor Gahan signs G-15-05 into law.

“This is a historic step towards improving living conditions for residents and property owners in New Albany,” stated Mayor Jeff Gahan. 

Rental Registration has been discussed by several previous administrations and city councils, spanning back over a decade. At last night’s meeting, several community members and groups spoke in favor of the passage.  Pat Harrison, a well-known local realtor, thanked the administration and council members for passing the rental registration ordinance.  Greg Sekula of Indiana Landmarks also heralded the passage, and read a letter of support Brendan Brown, Chair of the Historic Preservation Commission, which stressed the importance of the ordinance.

“The Commission feels strongly that both components of the ordinance – the registration of all rental units and their inspection – are important tools to help preserve New Albany’s historic buildings and improve the quality of life for its citizens,” read the letter.  During the second reading of the G-15-05, the inspection portion was stripped from the ordinance.  However, after the passage of the registration for rental properties ordinance, a committee was established to re-examine an inspection component to city ordinances, chaired by Councilman Al Knable.

“In its work, the [Historic Preservation] Commission deals regularly with deterioration of buildings caused by lack of maintenance, and the frustrations of trying to reach and work with absentee property owners; this ordinance would help address both of these issues,” stated the letter from Mr. Brown.  “We urge you to move forward with [the inspection] committee work in a timely fashion.”

According to the 2010 census, New Albany has nearly 7,000 rental housing units that serve almost 44% of the people in the community. With such high rental demand, situations can occur where a portion of the city population becomes vulnerable as they are forced into sub-standard housing, by necessity.  The city acknowledges that most of the landlords in our community are very responsible, but some do not maintain their rental property to code and are unresponsive to tenant concerns.

“The inspection component that the council committee is working on will help expedite these issues, and help protect some of our most vulnerable members of our community,” stated Mayor Jeff Gahan.  “I look forward to the day when the council delivers me an inspection bill to sign into law which will work in conjunction with the rental registration ordinance.”

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Rental Registration for New Albany Passes

“I’m pleased to hear that the City of New Albany is moving forward by passing legislation to require rental registration for all rental properties within the city limits.  Rental registrations and inspections have been under consideration by previous administrations and city councils for over a decade.  This action is a major step toward improving living conditions for all residents and property owners in New Albany.  Unfortunately, the rental property inspection component was stripped from ordinance G-15-05,” stated Mayor Jeff Gahan.  

The final reading is scheduled for the next City Council meeting on March 17th.

 

Rental Housing Ordinance to be discussed by City Council

Working with Mayor Gahan’s staff and other city council members, New Albany City Councilman Greg Phipps will introduce G-15-05, Ordinance Adopting Chapter 160: Rental Housing Code at the regularly scheduled Council meeting on Monday, March 7, 2016.  The purpose of the ordinance is to provide for the registration and inspection of rental residential property within the city.  

The Rental Housing ordinance will help facilitate in the prevention of deterioration of residential housing, assist in compliance of minimum rental housing standards to improve safety for residents, protect the character and stability of residential neighborhoods, and preserve and increase property values throughout the City.  This ordinance continues Mayor Gahan Administration’s focus on Quality of Place initiatives regarding the business of residency, while focusing on four main goals:

1.    Increased Safety for tenants and surrounding properties
2.    Improved Cleanliness
3.    Historic Preservation  
4.    Increased property values

By improving and maintaining our housing stock, in addition to quality of life initiatives like strong schools and parks, our entire community becomes a more attractive place for private investment of money, time, energy, and enthusiasm.

The ordinance has two major components which will assist in accomplishing the goals outlined.  

1.    Registration of any property in the city which will be rented to tenants
The registration process will require the owner to obtain a rental permit for each property and supply current contact information of the owner to the City.  This will allow the appropriate city officials to immediately contact a rental housing owner of any potential violations or issues with the property should they arise.  The registration will facilitate the timeliness and ability of the City to work with owners to address or fix any issues that may exist.  


2.    Inspection of rental housing properties  
All rental housing properties may be subject to an annual inspection or inspection based upon a complaint as permitted by ordinance and state statute.  

The Rental Housing Ordinance will immediately be of benefit to the community, residents, tenants, and rental property owners.  

“We are committed to improving the residential experience for those who have long ago decided to make New Albany their home, as well as those people who are determined to find a great new place to live and grow,” stated Mayor Jeff Gahan.

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Flooding Near State-owned Pipe

On December 27th, 2015, a section of a 13-foot-diameter pipe measuring 975 feet in length which was designed to carry Valley View Creek parallel to the west side of the interstate between Cherry and Spring Streets at New Albany collapsed.  The pipe was built in the 1960’s during the construction of I-64.  This pipe is responsible for water flow from Valley View Creek to Falling Run Creek.  When the flow is not properly occurring, water backs up and floods in the area near Valley View Creek.

Early this morning, approximately 2.3 inches of rain fell over a 6 hour period causing the area along Cherry and West Streets to experience flooding.  The flooding is the result of a collapsed state-owned stormwater pipe that is currently under repair by Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT). 

Flooding along Cherry Street caused by the state-owned stormwater pipe that failed.

Flooding along Cherry Street caused by the state-owned stormwater pipe that failed.

City crews, along with state crews and emergency management officials, arrived on site early this morning to assess the situation and help alleviate the flooding.  A large pump (1000 gallon per minute) has been set up by city public works crews to manually re-route and divert water from Valley View Creek to Falling Run Creek in order to reduce water levels, essentially bypassing the failed 13-foot-diameter pipe.  INDOT is bringing another pump to the site and will set it up near the collapsed pipe inlet to assist.

A city water pump helps alleviate the flooding.

A city water pump helps alleviate the flooding.

One (1) resident has been displaced from their home because of this flooding.  The city has secured housing for the affected while emergency crews respond to the situation.

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Two City Roadway Segments Identified Among Most Accident-Prone in Southern Indiana

According to crash analysis from the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency (KIPDA), two street segments in the City of New Albany have been ranked among the highest prone to accidents in southern Indiana.  Specifically, Spring Street (from Beharrell Avenue to Silver Street) was ranked the 2nd highest accident-prone street segment.  Spring Street (from Silver Street to Vincennes Street) was ranked as the 17th highest accident-prone street segment.

Fortunately, the City of New Albany applied for and are receiving special federal Highway Safety Improvement Program grant money through the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) to correct these most-dangerous segments.

The improvements, which are being funded by 90% federal money, include:
•    New signal with exclusive opposing left turn lanes at the Spring and Silver intersection
•    A modified 3-lane section with two west bound travel lanes on the east leg of Spring Street (from Beharrell Avenue to Silver Street)
•    A two-lane section with buffered bike lanes, parking lanes, and exclusive left turn lanes at key intersections on the west leg of Spring Street (from Silver Street to Vincennes Street)

“This effort will improve the safety for drivers at two hazardous road segments,” stated Mayor Jeff Gahan.  “We will take this opportunity to improve safety for pedestrians and bikers as well.”

The state of Indiana is scheduled to approve construction of this project in the Spring of 2016, and details will be presented to the Board of Works on Tuesday, February 2nd at their 10am meeting. 

“I have personally investigated numerous crashes at these intersections,” stated New Albany Police Chief Todd Bailey.  “Being responsible for public safety, I am excited to support any initiative to make these areas safer.”

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City Project Qualifies for INDOT Safety Improvement Funds

The City of New Albany has qualified through the Indiana Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Improvement Program for a safety project that will soon begin removing and replacing approximately 1575 sign and sign posts at locations throughout the city.  New federal safety requirements state that signs must meet certain retro-reflectivity standards, and this project will bring these 1575 regulatory and warning signs into compliance with those standards. 

Since this project qualified for state safety funds through the Highway Safety Improvement Program, the state will cover 90% of the $249,700 in improvements.  Through the bid process, INDOT has selected Michiana Contracting of Plymouth, Indiana as the contractor for the project.  Work is to begin in March with a scheduled completion date of October 31st.

“I’m glad that the state has recognized the importance of this safety project, and how it will improve visibility and clarity on our roadway regulatory and warning signs,” stated Mayor Jeff Gahan.

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Interstate Directional Signage

Yesterday, members of the city of New Albany staff met with officials from the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) to discuss concerns of citizens regarding New Albany signage associated with the bridges project. 

Mayor Gahan and a number of residents raised concerns that New Albany was not displayed on directional signage as you cross the new bridge into Indiana.  INDOT informed city officials that they generally do not mix street names with cities in an effort to reduce confusion.  However, a compromise was reached where INDOT would place signage indicating correct exits for New Albany. Residents should expect to see the updated signage within 6 months.  Mayor Gahan would like to express his appreciation to the INDOT officials for their timely response to our concerns.

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Groundbreaking Scheduled for The Breakwater

breakwater

The City of New Albany and Flaherty & Collins Properties has announced that it will officially break ground on The Breakwater, a $26.5 million luxury residential apartment development at the former Coyle Chevrolet property in downtown New Albany. An official ceremony will be held on Wednesday, December 16 at 11am at 411 Spring Street in New Albany.

“This is a phenomenal project for the City of New Albany,” said Flaherty & Collins Properties CEO David Flaherty. “The Breakwater will bring a lot of high income residents to the downtown New Albany and transform the area. We believe this will provide employers with a fantastic, high-end housing option for their employees that does not exist today.”

Featuring 191 luxury apartments and 1,650 square feet of street-front retail space, The Breakwater is set to become the first apartment development in Southern Indiana to offer gigabit Internet. The advanced technology infrastructure offers ultra-high speed Internet connections that can be as much as 100 times faster than existing networks offer, which improves streaming quality and produces faster download times that greatly benefit businesses, schools and hospitals.

David Duggins, Director of New Albany Economic Development and Redevelopment, agrees. “This type of ultra-fast internet infrastructure is a huge asset when attracting young professionals and new businesses to cities,” he says.

The project, which will create nearly 100 jobs, received a $3.3 million state tax credit by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and includes at least two buildings and the renovation of the Coyle showroom. A recent study revealed an estimated economic impact of $30 million over a 5 year period.

“This project will help fulfill a need for increased downtown residential options in New Albany, and I’m thrilled that the IEDC and the Governor see the benefit of this project for the city – it truly is a project that I hope will be a model for other areas in the City,” stated Mayor Jeff Gahan.

Community features include upscale, resort-style amenities attractive to young professionals, including a heated luxury swimming pool with cabanas, Outdoor Movie Screen, bike storage, Pet Wash room, Fitness Club, Dog Park, and Outdoor Kitchen with grilling stations and a fire pit. Target residents will be those with incomes ranging between $50,000 and $60,000 a year.

Apartments will showcase 9-foot ceilings, 42-inch kitchen cabinets, granite countertops in kitchens and bathrooms, pendant lighting, wood-style flooring, over-sized tubs, balconies and smart thermostats. High efficiency washers and dryers will be included in each apartment, with stainless steel appliances available in select units.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the City of New Albany and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation to make this development a reality,” says Austin Carmony of Flaherty & Collins Properties, lead developer of the project.

“A public/private partnership like this, that brings a luxury, residential, mixed-use development to the downtown New Albany area, will add approximately 200 residents with disposable incomes that with further support local businesses and the economy. The Breakwater will build on the already strong economic developments that are already occurring in the City and should help make downtown more vibrant, walkable and full of activity.”

Construction is expected to take 18 months, with first units available in spring 2017.

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For more information on Flaherty & Collins Properties, contact Brian Moore at 317-816-9300 or visit www.flco.com.

About Flaherty & Collins Properties: In business since 1993, Indianapolis-based Flaherty & Collins Properties is the most active mixed-use, multi-family developer in the Midwest, with over one-half billion dollars currently in development in Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chicago and Kansas City. The award-winning firm manages nearly 15,000 units in 12 states. For more information about the company, go to www.flco.com or call 317-816-9300.