Monday, December 15, 2014

TIF ordinance delayed; special meetings needed, starting Wed.; Bozarth hands out honors, recognition

The Midway City Council delayed action on a tax-increment financing ordinance for Midway Station after lawyers worked through the weekend to complete legal documents but didn't get them delivered until the council was adjourning its regular meeting Monday night.

The council scheduled a special meeting for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday to give first reading to the ordinance. Mayor Tom Bozarth said another special meeting would be scheduled to give final passage. Bozarth and two council members leave city government at the end of the year.

Doug Martin, a lawyer in city attorney Phil Moloney's firm, said the package of documents also includes a local development agreement, in which the city would agree to pledge its tax revenue from the area to projects and public infrastructure there; a master agreement with developer Dennis Anderson; and "probably an interlocal cooperation agreement" with Woodford County, which is expected to dedicate property- and payroll-tax revenue from the area to reworking its public infrastructure for business and residential development, the cost of which Anderson has estimated at $30.7 million.

John Soper, chairman of the Woodford County Economic Development Authority, which owns the largely failed industrial park, said he executed another extension of EDA's option agreement with Anderson Monday. Anderson is paying $11,400 a month interest on $4.7 million in principal remaining from the bonds that the city and county issued to develop the industrial park.

Soper said of TIF, "We think it's a bright spot, a way out of this thing, and we think it makes all the sense in the world for the stakeholders involved to put that TIF in place."

Since it was the council's last regular meeting of the year and his administration, Bozarth took time to thank and recognize council members and others for their work during the last eight years.

"We don't always agree, but at the end of the day we did agree on what's best for Midway," he said. "We ought to be proud of what we've accomplished." He told the council that was "not about me ... without you all we couldn't have gotten anything done."

Bozarth noted that the city has $35,000 in savings when he became mayor in January 2007, and now has now $600,000, with more than $1.5 million in cash at its last audit. "I challenge you to grow that," he said.

Bozarth will be succeeded by Grayson Vandegrift, who defeated fellow Council Member Sharon Turner in November. "It's good to have new ideas and new direction and I'm looking forward to sitting back and watching," Bozarth said. "It's been a great run for me; the friendships I've developed have been priceless. I want to wish each and every one of you good luck."

Tom Bozarth and Sharon Turner
After receiving a standing ovation from the council and others in attendance, Bozarth had the council adopt resolutions honoring the "sacrifice, hard work and passion" of Turner, retiring Council Member Aaron Hamilton and county Magistrate Larry Craig, who served on the council in 2003-06. "This town and its citizens have given a lot more to me than I've given to them," Craig said.

Turner didn't comment, but Hamilton said of his eight years on the council, "It has been a good run. I've enjoyed it. I'm really glad that I did it, for the friendships I've made and everything and I just want to thank everybody for your support."

Bozarth also gave keys to the city to Moloney, Woodford Sun correspondent and former police officer John McDaniel, and Midway Messenger publisher Al Cross, who lives in Frankfort and directs University of Kentucky students who cover Midway.

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