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Floyd County approves tax levy that will help address aging City-County Building

The exterior of the City-County Building in New Albany.
John Boyle
Floyd County officials have approved a new tax to help address issues at the aging City-County Building in New Albany.

Floyd County officials passed a tax levy earlier this week expected to help with rehabilitation or replacement of the more than 60-year-old City-County Building.

The Floyd County Council gave final approval for the new Cumulative Capital Development tax at a budget meeting earlier this week. It was approved by the Floyd County Commissioners earlier this year.

The tax is for $0.0167 on every $100 of assessed property — half the maximum levy the state allows. That means around $33 a year for a property valued at $200,000.

Commissioners President Al Knable said that’s expected to bring in around $750,000 next year toward addressing issues with the aging City-County building — including old wiring and HVAC systems, and the potential for mechanical failures. Another concern is the need for more space for the county’s judicial system.

The initial funds will be used to look at possible paths forward, including rehabilitating the old building or building a new one. It could also be used to create an annex space for administrative offices.

The county could also decide that trying to maintain repairs is best at this time, though Knable said that could be costly and difficult.

“The Building Authority estimates at a minimum $1 [million] to $1.5 million worth of repairs per year for the next decade,” Knable said. “When you start looking at something of that magnitude, then I think we need to start looking at a total rehabilitation on it.”

He said repairs will pose a challenge not only because of cost, but because some of the equipment is so old replacement parts aren’t available.

Knable said there will continue to be opportunities for community input at upcoming public meetings.

“I would anticipate sometime in the first quarter of the year, we're going to have to decide whether or not we're going to be able to rehabilitate the building, whether we're going to have to look at building the new building,” he said.

The county is working with construction and development company Envoy Inc., representatives from which presented information at a recent council meeting.

The Indiana Department of Local Government and Finance recently gave the county the greenlight on the tax, following a remonstrance process after two petitions by people opposed to the tax.

Earlier this week, the council also voted 4-3 to approve a new .04% judicial local income tax to help address a shortfall in the 2024 budget.

This is lower than the .07% proposed earlier this year.

Coverage of Southern Indiana is funded, in part, by Samtec Inc. and the Hazel & Walter T. Bales Foundation.

Aprile Rickert is LPM's Southern Indiana reporter. Email Aprile at arickert@lpm.org.

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