Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Council passes leash law, hears budget and plans for Francisco's Farm arts festival, still in the making

Dogs in Midway can no longer roam free, at least legally, under the leash law passed by the City Council this week. Monday night's meeting also included the formal first reading of the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 and discussion of plans for the Francisco's Farm arts festival.

The leash law passed unanimously, though Council Member Joy Arnold suggested that it be modified to allow exceptions for dog owners who can prove to an animal control officer that they can maintain control of their dogs without leashes. Arnold said Boulder, Colo., has such a law, and "We need to be a community that appreciates dogs that have been trained." She said a local dog trainer had expressed concern about Midway's ordinance.

Other city officials were skeptical. Council Member and Mayor Pro Tem Sharon Turner said it is a dog's nature to give chase, and the leash law will keep dogs from being run down in the street. Mayor Tom Bozarth questioned how the exception would be enforced and funded.

Council Member Dan Roller suggested that the idea be referred to the county animal control office, since that office had requested the ordinance to make Midway conform with one in Versailles. Outside the limits of the two cities, the leash laws do not apply.

The proposed budget was read without comment; it had been discussed at two special council meetings, reported here. An Excel spreadsheet of the major items can be downloaded here.

Francisco's Farm: How to maintain connections with Midway?

Sara Hicks, the president of Midway Renaissance, reported on plans for Francisco's Farm, which will be held June 23-24 at Equus Run Vineyards on Moores Mill Road, three and a half miles from downtown Midway.

The festival's move to the vineyard last year, from Midway College, rankled some Midwegians who thought the change reduced the popular event's connection with the town. Tentative plans for a shuttle between the event and the town fell through.

Hicks was asked what the festival will do to bring people to Midway. She said some merchants have agreed to give discounts to festival-goers, and "We want most of our volunteers to be from Midway." The Lexington Art League is playing a major role with the event this year.

Hicks said Pam Trautner is recruiting volunteers for the event, and John Maybrier is seeking vendors. "We're looking to have healthier foods," Hicks said.

Council Member Charlann Wombles, acknowledging that her idea may be too late for this year, suggested that the festival be called "Midway's Francisco's Farm."

"I like that," Hicks replied. "It's the people of Midway who put it on for all those years. She said the festival will have a table for Midway merchants.

However, Grayson Vandegrift, president of the merchants' association, said it was not planning to have a booth because the festival said that would cost the association $1,000. Hicks said she would look into that. Later in the week, Vandegrift said the festival had agreed to provide a free booth.

Francisco's Farm, a nationally recognized and professionally juried art fair, is named for Col. John Francisco, whose farm became the site of Midway when the state's first railroad was built through it in the 1830s.

Other business

The council agreed to have a special meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 15 to discuss garbage and recycling policies and pending bids. Bozarth said water customers will get a questionnaire, the answers to which will guide the city's decisions.

Council Member Aaron Hamilton said the survey will include questions asking if residents would be more likely to recycle if all types of material could be combined into a single stream, and whether they would be willing to pay a fee if glass could be collected for recycling and the current blue bags eliminated.

After the opening of the farmers' market for the summer was announced for 3 to 6 p.m. Monday, June 4, Bozarth said "I think we're going to have someone else down here on Saturdays." That, he said after the meeting, would be B & B Farms from Lawrenceburg.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Leashing your dog is not only for the safety of the public but for the safety of the dog. Even the best well trained dog can “freak” and run into traffic. Even the best well trained dog can bite or attack if it feels threatened. Dogs need to be on a leash in public in case there is a potential dog fight. Even though your dog is well trained you need to take into consideration the people who are afraid of dogs and “freak” when they see dogs that are not on a leash? Dogs are dogs and what they do is unexpected. Midway needs leash laws that apply to ALL DOGS! No exceptions!