The New Albany Tribune has consistently endorsed Scribner Place, so yesterday’s editorial in defense of the project does not come as a complete surprise.
Just the same, it is a timely and welcomed statement of principle in the run-up to next Thursday's City Council vote.
NA Confidential especially appreciates a newfound firmness in the Tribune's editorial tone, as well as its implied exasperation with the demagoguery of certain amateurs among the City Council members, those who remain publicly ignorant of accounting principles even as they lecture trained professionals to the contrary.
Unfortunately, the Tribune still does not archive editorials on-line, so here is the complete text.
SCRIBNER PLACE SHOULD MOVE FORWARD
“The city of New Albany is strapped for money. In fact, if Mayor James Garner is unable to secure a $500,000 loan request from the sewer utility, cuts may have to be made. There may be layoffs and or department cuts.
“However, the Scribner Place project should not become a casualty of these cuts. Money to fund the downtown development, which will include a swimming pool and YMCA, will not come out of the general fund. Caesars Foundation of Indiana has already promised $20 million over the next 20 years for the project. Also, $400,000 a year in Economic Development Income Tax funds have also been promised through a City Council resolution. Those funds can not be used for general fund expenditures – so they can not help New Albany out of its current mess. The City Council also will have to secure a $13 million bond to help finish off the project.
“None of these funds could help the city out of its financial problems. Hopefully, the City Council will do the right thing and move forward approving the required dollars for the construction of Scribner Place.
“The YMCA is coming to New Albany. The Y currently is raising money to build a new facility downtown. But, to make the downtown project complete, the city needs to live up to its promise.
“Scribner Place should not be used as a political football. It’s one of the best ideas for downtown New Albany to come out of the mayor’s office in years. It will help put life into a downtown area that could use a boost.
“With a $20 million gift from Caesar’s staring us in the face, there is no way we should put the project on hold. We should do what other progressive cities would do, move forward and improve our downtown area.”
Note the date of the preceding: Thursday, May 12, 2005. On that date, New Albany’s newspaper of record editorially linked progress with improvement of New Albany’s downtown area.