New Albany village council members voted 5-2 to spend up to $2,500 on a survey regarding the establishment of a recreation or community center.

New Albany village council members voted 5-2 to spend up to $2,500 on a survey regarding the establishment of a recreation or community center.

Council members Glyde Marsh and Chip Fellows voted against the measure, citing the costs and the current economic environment.

Council added one stipulation to the April 20 resolution that the other entities involved the New Albany-Plain Local school board, the Plain Township trustees and the Joint Park District did not. The New Albany Community Foundation and the YMCA also plan to contribute to the survey.

Council plans to pay half of the amount up front and would pay the second half after it sees the questions drafted by local public opinion research firm Saperstein Associates.

The New Albany-Plain Local school board on April 26 approved a resolution to spend up to $2,500 on the Saperstein survey. Only board member Mike Klein, who is a member of the center exploratory committee, voted against the measure, citing other district needs he thought should have priority over a recreation center.

Plain Township trustees also have taken action to spend up to $2,500 for the survey and the Joint Park District approved its participation and the exploratory process at its last meeting.

The survey would cost $10,000 and would poll 300 residents in 15-minute surveys about their opinions regarding a recreation or community center.

"We need to find out what the residents of the village think and get a good sampling of that," said council member Colleen Briscoe at the April 20 council meeting.

Marsh said he conducted an informal survey the weekend before the council meeting and found that residents were in support of a future community center but would not support increasing taxes to pay for it.

"I made my own survey and it didn't cost $10,000," he said. "It was very interesting. I tried to be halfway fair in the questions I asked about whether they thought there was a need for a community center or a field house. I brought in even the old folks having consideration in it."

Mayor Nancy Ferguson, who made a motion for the resolution, said decision-makers would not know what the community would want without a survey.

"I think there are a lot of other options that could be explored for funding," she said. "I think our community expects something professional."