Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Council moves to put big water tower into service, OKs moving farmers market, discusses park issues

By Nini Edwards and Al Cross
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

The City Council voted Monday night to spend $16,425 to start putting the Midway Station water tower, built 11 years ago, into service.

“We are going to take the Tin Man out of service,” Mayor Tom Bozarth said. The older water tower built in the 1940’s is known as the Tin Man due to its gable roof, which resembles the hat of the Tin Man in the 1939 movie, “The Wizard of Oz.”

The towers loom on the horizon on US 62 just south of Midway.
The tower, located just outside downtown on Dudley Street, will no longer hold water, but will not be torn down, Bozarth said after the meeting.

The newer, bigger tower at Midway Station has never been in service because the industrial park never attracted significant development.

The tower is now needed to serve development on the former Weems property across Interstate 64, now owned by Dennis Anderson of Lexington, who has an option to buy Midway Station and turn it into a commercial and residential development.

The initial cost to put the tower in service is for an updated telemetry system, which is used to measure the amount of water in the tower and control the water level.

Council Member Bruce Southworth obtained two proposals from potential vendors and recommended using Rawdon Myers Inc. of Milford, Ohio. Southworth, former public works director and city administrator in Versailles, said the tank would also need to be disinfected, at additional cost. 

"The Tin Man"
Council Member Grayson Vandegrift appeared hesitant to vote on the issue, saying he had not heard about it until Bozarth and Southworth brought it up.

Bozarth said he asked Southworth to handle the matter. “This is something we have to do,” he said. “It’s something we’ve been working on for 10 months, really.”

Vandegrift joined the other members (Aaron Hamilton was absent) in voting for the expense. City Clerk Phyllis Hudson said it will come out of the $32,000 line item in the water-sewer budget for capital improvements.

The council authorized Southworth to see if the circular tank at the old sewage-treatment plant on Leestown Road can be stopped from leaking, so it the plant can be an aquaculture demonstration center for Kentucky State University. 

The council gave second reading and final passage to an ordinance allowing guns in the city park, to conform with a recent state law and federal court rulings.

The ordinance amended the existing park ordinance. Council Member Sara Hicks, reading the full ordinance, asked why it prohibits horses in the park.

“We’re the horse capital of the world,” said Hicks, who has lived in Midway since 2004. “Why would we disallow horses in our park? . . . They’re on a leash, usually.” Because it is next to the Midway College horse area, she said, it would be “a logical place to go during parades and things like that.”

Others at the meeting said it would be too risky to let people ride horses in the park. If a rider fell off, the horse could endanger people, Bozarth said. City attorney Phil Moloney said, “That creates a lot of liability issues and responsibility for the city in terms of overseeing it.” Bozarth said if there a group with a specific reason for bringing a horse into the park it can ask the council for permission.

Council Member Dan Roller said that if guns are going to be allowed in the park, the ordinance should prohibit them from being fired. Moloney said another ordinance bans the discharge of firearms in the entire city.

Continuing talk about park business, the mayor said someone is allowing dogs to jump up and knock down tree branches near the pavilions.

“It is damaging the property and it needs to stop,” Bozarth said. “We need to find who is doing this so we can put it to rest.”

At the request of the Woodford County Farmers Market, the council voted to move the market back to its previous location on Main Street. Last year it was on the Darlin’ Jean’s Apple Cobbler CafĂ© parking lot at the east end of downtown.

At the end of last year’s season a market survey showed that “most of our customers’ preferred the wholesomeness of downtown Midway,” market representative Julie Morgan told the council.

This year, the market will be in front of downtown stores from The Fashion Filly to the Heirloom restaurant. Each Monday, parking will be marked off in front of these locations except for handicapped parking.

“In previous years we put the cones around 2:30,” Morgan said. “There was never really a concern.” The market will open May 6 and will be open on Mondays from 3 to 6 p.m.

The council approved a resolution authorizing Community & Economic Development Associates Inc. to be paid for preparing the application for the $500,000 grant that will be used for infrastructure to serve The Homeplace at Midway. At the last council meeting CEDA President Bryan Kirby said he could not find that the council had ever formally authorized the application and the payment, which is called for in the grant.

The council authorized the Veterans Memorial Committee to withdraw $2,500 from the trust fund for the memorial to add 42 names of Midway-area veterans whose names have surfaced through research, according to Sgt. Jeremy Emerson of the committee.

Bozarth issued a proclamation, which the council approved, making April 26 Arbor Day. It cited trees’ beauty and their ability to provide clean air and water.

Council Member Sharon Turner announced that former state Auditor Crit Luallen, a prospective candidate for governor in 2015, will speak at the Memorial Day observance.

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