No rental bail out

Residents of the Murrah Road area of New Albany continue to be upset with the city’s failure to deal forcefully with a run-down trailer park and motel near their property.

They see it as a potential source of crime, as well as declining property values, in their area. Focus on the park became laser-like after Amanda Price was shot to death at her home on Murrah in December. Someone who was staying at the park has been charged.
We don’t blame residents for being upset. The city should have enacted a strong rental standards ordinance years ago, guaranteeing quality rental housing that will attract quality renters throughout the city. The city also should have strongly enforced all of its existing codes and regulations.
What the city should not do, in our opinion, is bail out the owners of the trailer park by using city money to purchase it. The owners have created this problem; the owners should be made to improve the trailer park dramatically or close it.
It is troubling to us to hear that a plan is being bandied about for the New Albany Light, Gas & Water Department to purchase the property for a new headquarters building. The potential cost just for the property is rumored to be more than $700,000.
This proposal is ludicrous. First, the property is not worth the money. Second, it is on the edge of the city and not convenient for ratepayers. Third, it would move employees out of the downtown core area. Keeping employees downtown is central to downtown’s viability.
The city should move ahead on cleaning house on sleazy rentals and getting after the people who own them. It should not be giving them a financial bonanza by buying their property.

About Chris Elkins

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