Better City-County communication needed regarding development of Grant Line Industrial Park West, New Albany, IN
[GBP Note: This article illustrates the importance of getting the involvement of all stakeholders when planning and developing a new business park or industrial park.]
New Albany didn’t garner county approval before starting road projectBush says he doesn’t want to stop project, just wants to be notified
By DANIEL SUDDEATH email@example.com
Mon Aug 13, 2012, 08:00 AM EDT
NEW ALBANY — As the city moves forward with Grant Line Industrial Park West, county officials are questioning why they were left out of the loop about changes to Durgee Road.
New Albany plans to open the park on 40 acres of donated land next year, and efforts are under way to extend sewer service to the area as well as to provide a new access road via an extension of Security Parkway.
That extension would cross right-of-way obtained by the city and loop around to connect with Durgee Road. As a result, the existing railroad crossing on the road will be relocated by about 1,000 feet.
While the city owns the Grant Line West property, the land hasn’t been annexed into the New Albany limits. Thus, Durgee Road is still under the control of Floyd County government.
But while work has started on the site, Floyd County Commissioners President Steve Bush said he’s still waiting for an official notification or request from the city to disturb Durgee Road.
“All we’re asking is just to be notified,” Bush said Friday. “It’s not something we want to stop them from doing. If it’s the right thing to do than it’s not a problem.”
New Albany Public Works Project Supervisor John Rosenbarger conceded the city hasn’t had much discussion with the county over the park and road since the initial plans were introduced.
The city hasn’t formally asked the county for permission to close the railroad crossing on Durgee Road, but Rosenbarger said the project will greatly improve access to the park area.
The new access road will be wider and include two lanes, Rosenbarger said.
“The only thing that’s closing is the crossing,” he said. “The rest of Durgee, especially the west side, will be dramatically improved.”
Not only will new industries benefit from the changes, but also existing factories in the area, Rosenbarger continued.
W M Kelley Co. Inc. has been located off Durgee Road since 1971. Company vice president Fred Kelley said once the improvements are made, the business will have sewer service for the first time.
But more importantly, Kelley said employees will no longer have to risk driving on a one-lane road with poor visibility just to get to and from work.
“It’s been an issue since we’ve been out here, and we’ve had no improvements in the county area for a long time,” Kelley said. “So it will definitely be a huge improvement, [with] better access and better safety getting onto the highway.”
Rosenbarger said the Indiana Department of Transportation held a public hearing on the road project, and that the residents who attended spoke in favor of the plan.
The city administration is in the process of finalizing a proposal to annex the industrial park into New Albany, Rosenbarger said. The annexation will require approval of the New Albany City Council.
But Bush said it’s just a matter of communication, and that the city should have had the courtesy to inform the county of what was transpiring.
“What if there’s a complaint or something isn’t right with the neighbors in that area?,” Bush said. “We wouldn’t go in the city and try to change a road or redo a road. We would definitely notify them and ask them about it.”
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