Thursday, March 21, 2013

Water offer to be made April 16; mayor says city will get independent evaluation of system's worth

By Nini Edwards
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

The people of Midway will have a chance to hear an offer from Kentucky American Water Co. for the city’s water and sewer system on April 16, the council was told Monday night.

The dilemma between borrowing money to fix the systems or selling one or both has been drawn out for two years. The estimate for full repair of the water system is $8.4 million.

The council discussed having a third party evaluate the system.

“It would be wise to have a third party maybe look at . . . what the actual water and sewer system is worth,” Council Member Bruce Southworth said.

Mayor Tom Bozarth replied, “Well, I think we can do that when we get an offer; we can get somebody else to evaluate our system.”

Southworth tried to interject, but Bozarth continued: “That is just business sense that you (get a third opinion). I mean, you don’t take an offer without getting one.”

“That’s what I mean, I just did know if we have discussed it,” Southworth said.

“That’s just a part of the process,” Bozarth replied.

The council asked County Emergency Services Director Keith Slugantz why the local tornado sirens did not sounds during the recent statewide drill. He said he did not activate them because the weather was “rainy and nasty” and he did not want residents to think that a tornado was approaching. He said the sirens would perform the same way regardless of the weather.

Among other business, Keith Clark, owner of the Grey Goose restaurant, told the council that he is seeking a zoning change to start a silent an auction house at 232 N. Gratz St., now in an industrial zone. He said he would return to the council in two weeks to answer questions about rezoning the property.

Clark said in an interview that he believes his auction house will benefit Midway and bring more traffic than his restaurant does.

“This is going to be a daytime deal and probably be open during the week days,” Clark said. “Anything we sell there is a revenue resource: There is sales tax that goes to the state, there is local option taxes and there is inventory.”

Clark said he plans to have an auction every 90 days, starting April 16.

The business of the council meeting began with a request from fundraisers for the American Cancer Society that the council donate to or sponsor Relay for Life, a 12-hour overnight walk to raise awareness and funding for people with cancer.

This year’s goal is to reach $78,000 and have 30 teams participating.

Bozarth did not dismiss the idea of donating, but said the council rarely makes donations.
“It is just about the budget,” he said. “People put requests in and we have never had the budget for them.”

The council discussed putting a link on its website where people could donate or learn how to participate.

Bozarth asked how much of the money stays in Woodford County. Fundraiser Meredith Moody said money will not go to cancer research in the county, but could help by going to a lodge in Lexington where people with cancer can stay.

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