It was November 29, not July 4, but low-grade, Chinese-made fireworks flew at Tuesday’s meeting of the Bored with Public Works and Safety, as City Hall revealed hitherto top-secret plans for top-down changes to two neglected downtown alleyways.
The News and Tribune’s steno-of-the-day was on hand to merrily chisel the boilerplate.
At this morning’s Board of Public Works and Safety meeting, the Board accepted an agreement between the City of New Albany and Michell Timperman Ritz Architects for improvements to the alley that runs from Spring Street to Main Street.
The alley and surrounding area currently has a few murals painted by local artists, and the City wants to expand on this idea and transform the alley into an inviting and distinct pedestrian pathway. Planned improvements include drop lighting, murals, sculpture pads, planter boxes, and resurfaced decorative pavement. The City of New Albany is partnering with Develop New Albany and the New Albany Floyd County Schools Art Department on this exciting project.
Amid the random shuffling yawns of meeting attendees, one member of the public rose to denounce the proposed changes in the most strident and unyielding of terms.
“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder,” thundered Irv Stumler, an advocate of heavy industry who resides in a neighborhood (Silver Hills) where heavy industry is prohibited.
“If people can’t afford cars and insist on walking, there’s a place for that,” said Stumler. “It’s called the sidewalk. Everyone except Jeff Gahan knows that alleys are meant to be filthy, dangerous places where our heroic trucking fleets unload things.”
According to Stumler, “gussied-up” alleys will result in the displacement of dumpsters, with potentially tragic consequences.
“You see where these dumpsters will be moved to, don’t you? Right there, out on the street corner, where my combination flower urn ashtrays used to be. Coincidence? I think not … and what happens when a monster rig with so much erotic horsepower you don’t even need Viagra comes to one of these newfangled two-way intersections and hits the dumpster making a turn?”
After the nice men from Placid Acres Care Village had finished tidying up, the meeting resumed.
“I’m disappointed that we can’t spend even more money on this project,” stated David Duggins, the city’s economic dishevelment director.
“Unfortunately, our campaign finance sluices just won’t fit in tight spaces, and fortunately the architect is willing to work with us, so we divert as much as possible, call it good, and throw back a few ice cold Bud Light Limes.”
Duggins, recently appointed by Mayor Jeff Gahan to the new position of Artistic Allegiance Arbiter (AAA), stated that designs for the alleyway decorations and murals are being left to the imagination of participating students, with one key exception.
“We really need to have this one on a wall somewhere,” said Duggins, who pulled a torn and frayed sketch from his wallet.
“Sorry about the stains,” added Duggins. “We were scoping it out over lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings.”
The project’s conceptual designer praised the city’s decision to relentlessly channel artistic expression through the vise-like grip of usual suspects like his firm.
“With this municipal contract, we’ve topped this year’s fundraising goal, and not a moment to soon,” commented an anonymous spokesman for Michell Timperman Ritz Architects, who remarked “I can see the future, and it’s located on the slopes in Aspen. God, but I do love Fat Tire.”
Prior to the bored’s rote approval, the city’s ruling hologram offered more of the same, authored by another, emitted from a blue screen unfurled over in the corner by the last remaining wall socket.
“This project will not only enhance the safety of this corridor, but will add another unique and inviting pathway for pedestrians in our downtown,” stated Mayor Jeff Gahan. “I’m thrilled that Develop New Albany and the New Albany-Floyd County Schools Art Department have chosen to partner with us on this downtown improvement.”