At the most recent Redevelopment Commission meeting, the made-for-election-year hosannas could be heard all the way out in Galena, where a similar investment in dead weights is being financed not by a brain-dead mayor, but by bake sales and GoFundMe.
New Albany High School weight room receives $100,000 TIF gift, by Chris Morris (Tom May Column Expositor)
Money will come from TIF funds
NEW ALBANY — New Albany High School’s Health and Wellness initiative soon may see a significant upgrade thanks to a $100,000 grant from the New Albany Redevelopment Commission.
The money, which will come out of Tax Increment Financing or TIF funds, will be used to enhance both the health and wellness curriculum as well as purchase equipment for the school’s weight room. The measure still must be approved by the New Albany Floyd County School Board at the March 11 meeting.
The redevelopment commission is allowed to use 15 percent of TIF funds for educational spending, and member Adam Dickey said this will have a positive impact on New Albany.
“This will benefit kids across our community,” Dickey said. “This is a way as a city we can have an impact to help out the school corporation and impact lives in a very meaningful way.”
This example of re-election campaign publicity hokum was so ill-considered that even David Barksdale voted against it.
But now it seems that the devil resided in ANOTHER detail. Back to Papa Morris:
BLACKBERRY RIDGE HILL
The redevelopment commission approved a contract with Clark Dietz, Inc. to design plans to shave three feet from the hill near the Blackberry Ridge entrance off Grant Line Road. Where the entrance to the development is located creates a blind spot for drivers pulling out onto Grant Line Road. Plans are expected to be finished in July and there is no timetable when work will begin.
Clark Dietz? Is it the same Clark Dietz that has gifted the mayor with $34,400 since 2011?
But I digress.
The Green Mouse has learned that the New Albany-Floyd County School Corporation’s board will be asked to approve — or is it to request? — the city’s annexation of land that includes Grant Line Elementary School, located a short distance from the Blackberry Ridge.
Apparently the topic of annexation did not arise at the Redevelopment meeting in question, although one might have found it of interest in light of the roadwork, right?
The city’s annexation pitch to the school administration, which in turn has passed the glad-handing to the school board (the approval of which apparently is necessary), goes something like this: annexation will make the road work easier for the city, and annexation will then benefit Grant Line Elementary by (a) reducing sewer bills and (b) shifting responsibility for emergency responses to the NAFD.
The Green Mouse sounds weary.
Let me get this straight. With an election coming and “TIF for Schools” under fire via state legislation, Gahan tosses $100,000 at the school corporation that employs his wife and daughter, and Irving Joshua prattles nonsensically about weight training being the same thing as redevelopment; then, with little or no advance information provided to its own board, the school corporation encourages immediate compliance with/capitulation to an annexation move so well camouflaged it was completely invisible. Do these people ever do anything in the open — and could Chris Morris ask a good question every other year, or is that too much to ask?
Sadly, here in New Gahania it’s business-on-the-down-low-as-usual.