John Gonder relayed a tragic incident where two toddler girls were killed in a fire caused by a cigarette lighter. He asked for stronger enforcement of the novelty lighter ordinance.
President Coffey indicated that the budget would be a top priority for 2009. He wants work to start on the budget immediately. He also asked for an itemized list of the expenses from the damages caused by Hurricane Ike.
Carl Malysz gave a lengthy talk on a variety of issues:
- He gave an update on Mayor England's progress. He is back to work but still undergoing physical therapy.
- He said the Administration was still working on hiring another Code Enforcement Officer as soon as we receive approval from H.U.D. He added that the next 30 days will be quite busy.
1) The Concentrated Code Enforcement position will be filled.
2) A code enforcement hot line will be installed.
3) There will be code enforcement "sweeps" through neighborhoods.
- Indiana will receive 80 Million Dollars in Neighborhood Stabilization Funding. This money will be used to do neighborhood inspections looking for abandoned properties or properties in disrepair with code violations.
- An ordinance for registration of rental properties was proposed effective 2/09. Fees would be waived for a period of time. John Gonder will call another meeting with the code enforcement committee.
I talked to Mr. Malysz after the meeting about the neighborhood sweeps and the 80 mil. He said the smaller cities such as New Albany had a good chance to receive part of these funds since other funding was appropriated for the larger cities. As he said he wants to work with the neighborhood associations. He added that he was interested in helping homeowners who were not able to make needed repairs on their property. This seems like a great idea. Many areas of town have elderly residents on fixed incomes. I strongly recommend representatives from each of the neighborhood associations attend the next council meeting.
On another note. I also want to invite anyone interested in the health care crisis to attend a work session at 6:00 before the next council meeting. More on that later.