The decision by the New Albany Board of Aldermen not to pursue a purchase of the run-down trailer park and motel on East Bankhead Street was clearly the right one.
We applaud the board for its reasoned approach, and for not letting the emotion attached to the death of Amanda Price override common sense.
Paying $575,000 for the property, which was the offer from the owners, would have been an irresponsible use of taxpayer money.
That said, we think there is much for the board to do. We support the Murrah Road residents’ belief that the city needs to get moving and do something about the trailer park and motel. The owners need to be required to fix it up or close it up.
The city should enact a strong minimum rental standards ordinance that would require poor quality rental housing to be upgraded. A hearing on an ordinance has been set for March 6.
Also, by that meeting we would hope the city would have a draft prepared of a strong ordinance regulating mobile homes and mobile home parks. Just because the park was grandfathered when mobile home parks were banned inside the city during the 70s does not mean the owners can’t be required to meet new regulations and standards.
The owners of the property, not the city, are responsible for their business. We don’t think property owners have a right to maintain their property or a business in a way that endangers the health or welfare of other property owners.
We think strong new ordinances combined with very aggressive enforcement of those already in place will solve much of the problem. In our opinion, too much coddling has gone on.
The city needs to get on this like fleas on a white dog.