Mayor Gahan AWOL as council inks corporate welfare package for Sazerac.


A few odds and ends, and then we’ll all kick back to watch the epochal panacea unfold.

“Distillery to located in old Pillsbury plant.”

In the newspaper’s photo caption and the text, it is made perfectly clear that Sazerac will not be distilling at the former Pillsbury, and yet the subheader persists in the misconception. It also omits the second half of the verb form, but let’s not be churlish.

An aside to Greg Phipps: In comparative terms, General Mills is to Pillsbury’s biscuits as Sazerac is to Boston Brands of Maine’s liquor (in this instance, brandy, which is a specific type of liquor). If your objective is to begin renaming streets for the mayoral victory of the moment, then at least be consistent: Buffalo Trace Lane, to replace Pillsbury Lane.

Wait — Buffalo Trace now is an art installation by the Summit Springs Strip Mine. I prefer Southern Comfort Avenue, anyway.

But at least Phipps’ commemorative instincts are modest. If left to Bob Caesar, not a street, landmark or dumpster in the city would be safe from renaming in honor of operatives affiliated with One Southern Indiana, Team Gahan, Develop New Albany, or the council itself — though only those reliable council members like Caesar, who is to the adolescent fluffing of functionaries as Elvis was to peanut butter & ‘nanner sandwiches.

Last evening’s carefully choreographed incentive package spectacle might well have been the single greatest “mere formality” ballot I’ve witnessed in 14 years of soul-deadening council observation, but if you’ll pardon the blasphemy from the village atheist, if Jesus Christ himself materialized before council to announce the second coming, at least one or two questions still should be asked prior to the pre-arranged vote.

In the case of Sazerac:

  • Are these union jobs?
  • If $24 per hour is the average, can there be a more detailed breakdown of the wages?
  • Will there be any sort of public interface, for instance, a visitor center?
  • What are the implications for the railroad spur?

So on, and so forth, not to omit the most obvious of all: if Sazerac’s advent is second only to the second coming, then can Jeff Gahan show up for once and not have an underling mouth his scripted platitudes?

New Albany City Council approves incentive deal for Sazerac, by Chris Morris (Omnibus Tom May)

Distillery Bottling to to be located in old Pillsbury plant

NEW ALBANY — The Sazerac Company is coming to New Albany.

One of the oldest, family-owned distilling companies in the United States made the announcement last week that it was purchasing the old Pillsbury plant with plans to phase in two to three packaging lines. That move was contingent on the New Albany City Council approving a resolution to provide tax abatements on both personal property and real estate. The council did that Monday night by a 9-0 vote and with plenty of praise for the company and those who brokered the deal.

“In my seven years this is one of the biggest things to happen to New Albany as far as bringing jobs in,” Councilman Greg Phipps said.

He said the New Albany Board of Works may want to consider renaming Pillsbury Lane, the road where the plant is located, to Bourbon Lane.

“This is a major, major win for the community,” Councilman Bob Caesar said.

City Council President Al Knable said prior to the meeting the incentives offered by the city total around $3 million …