After eight months of review, New Albany City Council on Jan. 8 agreed to accept maintenance of 4 acres in the Upper Clarenton subdivision, south of Walnut Street.
City Council first considered the legislation in April, but council members questioned whether the land should be accepted, said Jennifer Chrysler, the city's community development director.
"The previous final plat showed reserves that crossed stormwater (retention) ponds, trail path and flood zones, and (City Council) questioned how the city could accept and maintain part of a drainage pond," the city staff report said. "As a result of the research conducted by staff with support from M/I (Homes, the developer) over several months, staff requested that ordinance be tabled indefinitely so a new plat could be created that more accurately reflected the current situation."
"We do not own or maintain retention ponds," Chrysler said Jan. 8. "We typically look for protected land and environmentally sensitive areas."
Chrysler said the city worked with M/I Homes to change the boundaries of the reserved land, which now includes 2 acres of retention ponds, 2 acres of land along the Sugar Run, 2 acres of public parkland and 2 acres of open space.
A new plat that includes those areas was approved Dec. 11 by City Council.
The city will accept maintenance of the 2 acres along the Sugar Run and the 2 acres of public parkland, Chrysler said.
Councilman Glyde Marsh asked if the city's planning commission and parks and trails advisory board agreed to the change.
Councilman Stephen Pleasnick, City Council's liaison to the parks and trails advisory board, confirmed that both boards reviewed the legislation.
Marsh also asked about maintenance costs of the land.
City Manager Joseph Stefanov did not give an estimated cost but, he said, the cost would be minimal since most of the land is within a natural area and does not require mowing.
"We might have to remove a dead tree now and then but these are naturalized areas that are very low maintenance," Stefanov said.
Chrysler said City Council regularly accepts responsibility and care of land in subdivisions.
In other business, City Council:
* Elected Chip Fellows as president pro tempore to serve as chairman at meetings in the mayor's absence.
* Set meeting dates for 6:30 p.m. the first and third Tuesdays of each month.
* Adopted rules of procedure after amending the rules to change the word "village" to "city" where needed, to change "village administrator" to "city manager" and to allow approved legislation to be posted on the city's website, at Village Hall and at the maintenance facility, the three public places as required by the charter.
* Reappointed Colleen Briscoe as liaison to the planning commission and economic development committee.
* Reappointed Pleasnick as liaison to the parks and trails advisory board and chairman of City Council's service and public facilities committee.
* Reappointed Sloan Spalding as liaison to the architectural review board, board of zoning appeals and public records commission and as chairman of City Council's safety committee.
* Reappointed Marsh as liaison to the board of construction appeals and chairman of City Council's finance committee.
* Reappointed Chris Wolfe as chair of City Council's public utilities committee.
* Reappointed Fellows as chairman of City Council's administration committee.
* Reappointed Mayor Nancy Ferguson as chairwoman of City Council's planning and economic development committee.
* Reappointed Ferguson, Fellows and Wolfe as representatives to City Council's grants and nonprofit funding committee.
* Reappointed Fellows as liaison to the New Albany-Plain Local School District.
* Reappointed Marsh as liaison to Plain Township.