Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Council OKs permit for The Homeplace at Midway, hears from new college president

By Courtney Ehrler and Nini Edwards
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

Action is taking place for The Homeplace. A permit for the retirement community, signaling that it's nearing construction, was among an array of topics on the agenda for Monday night’s Midway City Council meeting.

The new Midway College president pledged to maintain the college’s connection with the community, and a police officer offered advice for making Midway a safer community. Also, a vote on the “tourist destination” zoning ordinances was again held off for a later date.

Phyllis Mattingly, a Versailles attorney representing Christian Care Communities, the developer of The Homeplace at Midway, said that last week, “They indicated they were in the process of filing for loans to go on ahead and be able to start construction on the nursing home,” but need to make sure they have all the proper easements and rights of way.

She asked the council for an encroachment permit, allowing excavations and construction in a city right of way, to avoid any legal questions. “In looking at this issue, it was my feeling after considering it, that perhaps we needed to come back to the city and just make sure that the city would issue and would approve encroachment,” she said. All council members voted to grant the permit.

Mattingly said Christian Care Communities has set an anticipated completion date of June 30, 2014, and ground may be broken in April if the loans are secured fairly quickly. The Homeplace will be built on 31 acres across from the main entrance to Midway College. The property has been annexed and rezoned for the development.

Dr. John Marsden, the college's recently appointed president, introduced himself to the council and made clear his commitment to “having a strong relationship with the town and the college.”

“I’ve just begun my third week at Midway College, so I’m very new; learning about the institution, learning about the city,” Marsden said. “I’m learning as much as I can as quickly as possible as we try to shape the future of the college.”

Mayor Tom Bozarth expressed satisfaction with the past relationship between the college and the community, but said he wishes to increase communication and involvement between the two.

“We’ve always had a good relationship with the college and over the last eight months it has gotten even stronger,” Bozarth said, referring to the eight-month interim presidency of Robert Vogel, who was popular. “I look forward to going on that same path and having that partnership between the city and the college.”

Marsden agreed, and echoed that the college would be looking for more ways to make sure that Midway residents are invited to campus.

“I’ll certainly be keeping you informed of things that are going on,” Marsden said. “I want to make sure that strong connection is present.”

Bozarth asked Officer Nathan Craig of the Versailles Police Department to speak at the meeting to “offer us some ideas on what we can do better to help the police and what we can do for the safety of our own homes and community,” as Bozarth put it.

Craig reminded the council to make sure all doors and windows are locked and to turn on lights at night.

“Another huge deterrent is being a community and watching out for your neighbors,” Craig said. “If you see something out of place, call us and let us know. We have officers over here almost all the time. The response time is usually very short.”  The Versailles police patrol the entire county.

Council Member Sara Hicks voiced concern with issues of traffic control, saying multiple residents had contacted her concerning vehicles speeding through town and one case of a driver passing a school bus while picking up students. In response to a question from Bozarth, Craig said a witness could write down a license plate number and report it to police.

In other business, the council approved an event permit for the Race for Education 5K Run, which is sponsored by Equus Standardbred Station and will take place on April 20. 

Once again, voting on the “tourist destination” zoning ordinances was postponed. Bozarth said he felt it was in the city’s best interest to wait and take action 30 days after the fiscal court’s Feb. 12 decision, the allotted period for a lawsuit to be filed against the action, and because the ordinances would have no effect within Midway’s city limits, Bozarth and company agreed to postpone the decision until after March 14.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Connection between the campus and the retirement community is a good idea. It will keep everyone active, socially. I hope the 55 and over communities in new york have this kind of connection as well.