Wednesday, April 18, 2012

It's a doggy night at the council; budget proposed

By Cody Porter
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

Monday’s Midway City Council meeting was one that went to the dogs, so to speak, after council members heard the first reading of a leash law, and heard a complaint that a cemetery entrance had been locked over a dog issue.

Among other business, Mayor Tom Bozarth distributed and briefly discussed his proposed budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year that begins July 1.

Dottie Cordrey, who lives near Gayland Drive, addressed the council during the comment period early in the meeting to discuss the blocking of access to the cemetery through part of her property. Cordrey said in her 27 years living on the property, she often encouraged guests and friends to use her yard to enter the cemetery. But when a group of friends tried to enter for the April 3 graveside service for Katie Coomes, they and Cordrey discovered the gate had been chained and locked shut.

She said she contacted someone at City Hall, but no one returned her call despite being told it would be. That comment brought a questioning look from Bozarth to City Clerk-Treasurer Phyllis Hudson.

Cordrey said she hasn’t minded having the gate where it is, but tried to get city officials to put another gate at a location near the one on her property for easy access.

Bozarth said the lock “was a Cemetery Committee decision that they wanted that closed because of people bringing dogs in the cemetery and they wanted to close up the access to it.” After the meeting, Cordrey discussed the topic with Bozarth and Cemetery Committee Chair Doris Leigh, left.

After the meeting, Cordrey told the Messenger that the only dog she knows of in the vicinity is a 14-year-old standard poodle owned by her new neighbors. “She’s extremely calm and a real sweet dog,” she said. “I had encouraged them, along with another new neighbor, to be sure to use that (gate) if they wanted to. I didn’t know dogs weren’t allowed in the cemetery. They always have her on a leash. She doesn’t go anywhere. She’s always right beside them.”

Her next step will be looking into Lexington cemetery policies on dogs, because with the size that Midway is, the town needs as many friends as it can have, Cordrey said.

Near the end of the meeting, Bozarth gave the council his proposed budget for the city in 2012-13. Discussion of the budget had been on the agenda, but he told council members in an email before the meeting that it would be discussed at a later meeting.

Bozarth announced at the meeting that the council would hold a special meeting at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 25, to discuss it. The document he distributed does not compare his proposed expenditures with current or past expenditures.

Budget items mentioned by Bozarth included a request from the fire department for a new van; snow removal, which previously had been done free by Woodford County; and raises for emergency management and planning and zoning.

Council Member Dan Roller, who is also chairman of the Property Maintenance Committee, said the committee met at the public library April 10 to review an ordinance from Richmond on deteriorated properties.

Roller said rather than raising accelerated tax rates on blighted properties, as the committee has recommended, the Richmond ordinance details domain procedures for the city to acquire specific property. Roller said the committee voted to recommend the ordinance to the council.

Among other business at Monday’s meeting, former Midway police officer John William McDaniel III was honored for heroism after saving the life of a woman at 815 Prime with the Heimlich maneuver. Before getting a picture made with Midway’s new hero, Bozarth gave him a certificate for his act of heroism, a hat, and a bag of Lifesavers candy.
John McDaniel stands as the council votes unanimously to honor him.
On a request from Ken Tippett of the Woodford County Public School Hall of Fame, the council voted to give the hall $1,000 during each of the next three years. Other local governments are also being asked to give. Questioned by Council Member Sharon Turner, Tippett said the money would go mainly toward awards and a website.

Tippett said the Hall of Fame plans to induct two members in each of six different categories each year. In addition to athletics, which this year will see the induction of the 1937 Midway Blue Jays high school state championship team, other categories include academics and arts. Council Member Doris Leigh made a motion to accept the proposed three-year deal, Aaron Hamilton seconded, and the council voted for it unanimously.

In dealing with minutes from the last meeting, Roller discussed the sponsoring of summer events that had been discussed by Grayson Vandergrift of the Midway Merchants Association. Roller wanted to know if the city is considered a sponsor or co-sponsor of the event. Bozarth informed him the city was among the sponsors, so Roller asked that the minutes be changed to make it a co-sponsor. After a few moments of discussion Bozarth agreed to Roller’s request.

Also during the meeting, Bozarth proclaimed April to be Alcohol Awareness Month.

No comments: