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Democrats continue to build local community with budget priorities

Local municipalities consider budgets in New Albany, Georgetown & Floyd Co.

NEW ALBANY - For the past several weeks, our local Democratic officials have been working hard crunching the numbers. They've been setting budget priorities for the next year and determining the best way to serve our community.

New Albany Invests in Infrastructure

In New Albany, Mayor Jeff Gahan (D) and our Democratic Council members have continued to focus on investing in their city and using the budget process as an opportunity to build the local community. That investment starts with $1.9 million set toward infrastructure improvements for roads, sidewalks, and drainage structures.  

"Next year the city will concentrate on the secondary roads and some of the alleys," stated Council President Pat McLaughlin (D). "More residents will see their streets repaved next year as the city completes paving this year on main thoroughfares."

Resources are also being dedicated to assist code enforcement and provide for the installation of new trash receptacles throughout the city to help combat litter. 

Mayor Gahan's administration has also announced plans last month to partner with Denton Floyd Real Estate Group in renovating the vacant Reisz building on Main Street. In addition to saving the historic structure from demolition, this partnership also increases the space for the city's administration. A 25-year lease with Denton Floyd would end in the city taking over ownership of the property.

Georgetown planning to tackle sidewalks

In Georgetown, Town officials have been working to move forward on a streetscape project downtown. The work would include wider sidewalks, replacing retaining wall and lighting. The route runs along S.R. 64 from downtown to Macri Lane. To fund the project, the Town is also seeking grant dollars to match against local funds.

"This project has been a major priority for our administration," stated Councilman Josh Williams (D). "We're looking to improve Georgetown's image and enhance the quality of life for our residents."  

Improvements have also recently been made to Ashley Mariah Memorial Park. Located off Peach Tree Lane, the improvements include a new restroom facilities enhancing the park's use for local recreation and community gatherings.  

Floyd County addresses recruitment & retention 

Democrats on the Floyd County Council are also fighting to invest in one of the county's greatest assets - their public service employees. After years of being limited or unable to afford even modest cost of living increases, Council members are crafting a budget which boosts employee pay.

This step should help address a recurring retention issue in county government. As salaries remained stagnate, skilled employees have sought opportunities with other units of government or in the public sector. Council members hope the increase may dissuade some from seeking other positions. 

"Our employees are the life-blood of our operation," stated Council President Brad Streigel (D). "Our county depends on these individuals for our community services and we need to compensate them accordingly."

In addition, the county is also hiring a new Human Resources manager to better serve employee needs and met regulatory compliance. By shifting resources, this new position will be added without an increase on the general fund budget. 

"Democrats continue to show leadership in addressing the needs of our community," state Party Chair Adam Dickey. "By working creatively and responsibly, we are ensuring that our community continues to head in the right direction."

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Adam Dickey