Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Council wants details on video, hears audit and news that a major, long-idle property will be developed

Midway officials still want more details before forking over $1,500 for a promotional video for Woodford County, the city has received a favorable audit, and work has begun on a new convenience store and gas station at the Interstate 64 interchange.

Those were the headlines from the regular meeting of the Midway City Council last night.

The council had agreed to support the video project, but wanted more details. Mayor Tom Bozarth said the county was asking for the money, but had left some blanks in its memorandum of understanding with filmmaker Samuel Koltinsky of Marvo Entertainment: the names of three people who "will be providing input on content" and a list of "seven potential on-camera interviewees."

Phil Moloney of Lexington, attorney for the city, wondered if any of the interviewers would be people who would promote Midway. After some discussion, Bozarth asked Moloney to get the details from County Attorney Alan George.

George, who received Moloney's emailed list of nine questions while he was being interviewed by the Midway Messenger this afternoon, said he would refer the questions to Versailles Councilman Ken Kerkhoff, who is spearheading the project. George told the Messenger he did not think the three local consultants had been selected, but said it might make sense to have one each representing Midway, Versailles and the county.

The county is paying $3,500 toward the video's cost of $11,000, and Woodford Tomorrow and the City of Versailles are paying $2,500 each. Woodford Tomorrow's interest is the promotion of the "Uniquely Woodford" brand that it developed for county products and tourism, which the county has adopted and which is to be the theme of the video.

"Everybody's paid but Midway," Bozarth said. "They want their money by tomorrow and they want it all finalized by Friday."

Some of Moloney's questions dealt with the broader Uniquely Woodford branding project. Noting that Bozarth had received "a list of members composing a branding committee," he asked how they were chosen and by whom. He also asked, "What number of members will compose the branding committee, and what limitations will there be by time or length of service, and what involvement will the funding members have in selecting and appointing these representatives or replacements in the future?"

During the meeting, Bozarth endorsed the branding concept, saying, "It's a good idea."

Audit report

Louisville CPA Robert Ryan, the city's outside auditor, presented his audit of city finances for the 2011-12 fiscal year, which ended June 30. He said the city is in a good financial position, with very small liabilities and $2.5 million in assets, not counting the $6.3 million water and sewer system, which has separate finances.

Last year's income to the city's general fund was $93,000 over budget, and the water-sewer system took in $30,000 more than budgeted, Ryan said.

He suggested that the city find another home for its cemetery fund, because fees charged by the Old National Bank in Evansville, Ind., are "on the high side" and have been more than the interest earned by the fund. Bozarth agreed, and said he would like to keep the fund in Kentucky.

The council approved an amended budget for the current fiscal year, reflecting an increase in expected general-fund revenue to $968,257, up from $912,912. On the expense side, the major changes were adding $26,000 to fire expenses for a new van that the council had agreed to buy, and reducing street expenses by $34,000. Bozarth and City Clerk-Treasurer Phyllis Hudson said state aid money has made up the difference in the street fund.

Other business

In a brief aside at the end of the meeting, Bozarth announced that a bulldozer had started clearing ground on the former Weems property, which lies between I-64, US 421 and KY 341. He said it will be the site of a Shell gas station and convenience store.

The property is owned by Lexington developer Dennis Anderson, who is the prospective re-developer of Midway Station, the failed industrial park on the northeast quadrant of the interchange, across the interstate from the Weems lot. Bozarth said the station will be operated by a company that has stores in one or more Anderson developments in Lexington.

The council delayed second reading and passage of an ordinance changing the colors of the city's fire hydrants because Council Member Charlann Wombles noted that the ordinance didn't refer to the ordinance it would replace. The current ordinance calls for hydrants to be red with black caps; the new one calls for yellow with red caps, thought to be more visible.

Pam Yount gave a progress report on repair and demolition of her family's dilapidated properties and got a favorable reaction from the council.

Bozarth thanked Midway Business Association President Grayson Vandegrift for his hard work that helped make last weekend's Midway fall Festival "a record-breaking event." He said before the meeting that the crowd was the largest ever.

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