Enjoy yourself. It’s later than you think.*

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With the understandable disappointment surrounding the City Council’s regrettable decision to mortgage our economic future for less than fifty cents in monthly sewer bills, it’s been far too easy this week to overlook that good news is happening in spite of them. On the Friday preceding Labor Day, let’s take a moment to remember that success most often comes from work wholly immeasurable by paychecks, tax brackets, and accountants.

In a show of resolve and cooperation, residents from several New Albany neighborhoods took it upon themselves last night to educate their neighbors about how they can help with the city’s trash woes. It’s clear that city government has little active interest in addressing the issue so it’s good to see citizens stepping up to fill the leadership void. This writer was unfortunately absent from the meeting, but readers are encouraged to report on the evening. Media links will be added as they become available.

Last Sunday, Matt and Jessica Bergman hosted a well-attended open house at their recently purchased downtown property, the former Lewis Furniture and Appliance store at 135 East Market Street. Work on the upstairs residence is forthcoming, the building’s façade is being restored and there’s already commercial interest in the ground floor retail space. In case you missed it, The Tribune ran a story about the project on August 12.

Downtown Diligence in New Albany
by Eric Scott Campbell, The Tribune

This week’s Board of Public Works discussion concerning the parking needs of those who reside in the downtown commercial district is another encouraging sign. While I’d feel better about it if that discussion had been proactively instigated by government officials, parking in the district will undoubtedly become a more pressing issue as redevelopment gains even further momentum and should very much be a part of city planning now rather than later.

While the problem is still relatively minor in the immediate sense, the number of residents in that area is increasing with more living space happily on the way. “People who are wanting to move downtown…”, as Brenda Scharlow put it, is an assumption that’s easier to make every day.

Two-hour parking exemptions discussed in New Albany
by Eric Scott Campbell, The Tribune

Those who live or will live downtown need services and there’s perhaps no service more basic than that provided by a neighborhood grocery store. Most know that Daily’s 24 Hour Food Mart, 419 Vincennes Street, planned on closing so Mr. Daily could pursue other business interests. As reported this week, though, the business has been sold and will most likely remain a grocery store.

A dutiful sense of civic responsibility and the food mart’s convenient location attracted a fair share of customers. Perhaps the new owner, whose identity is yet to be revealed, will build on that support and offer a less readily available variety of goods many of those customers would appreciate, allowing their continued shopping to be more pleasurably motivated.

24 Hour Mart to remain open
By Chris Morris, The Tribune

We’ve said it over and over again. Economic development is dependent on our ability to attract and retain creative, productive talent to our community. Talent decides where to live based on amenities that contribute to quality of life. Businesses in turn decide where to locate based on access to that talent. It’s a competitive affair and standing still is losing.

For those of you keeping score in that contest, the New Albany/Floyd County Parks and Recreation Department gets it. More than most city entities, Parks and Rec has shown an understanding of its role and is enthusiastically reinventing itself to move forward.

It’s impressive, though not entirely surprising, what can be accomplished with thorough planning and the organized pursuit of defined goals. Director Bill Koehler and crew, having already earned a holiday weekend several times over, upped the ante again.

New Albany Parks Department create new foundation
By Chris Morris, The Tribune

Other notables:

New Albany audit shows improvement
by Eric Scott Campbell, The Tribune

Contractor extends Scribner bid
By Matt Batcheldor, The Courier-Journal

The large majority of the above was obviously well covered by The Tribune. Linking to all those stories wouldn’t have been possible a year ago.

Relax. Catch up. Appreciate.

*The title is still gleefully lodged in my head, having been implanted there by Todd Snider via his brilliant East Nashville Skyline LP almost two years ago. He has a new one out as well.

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