Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Council OKs financing for new fire truck; committee discusses improvements to veterans' monument

By Paige Hobbs
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

The Midway City Council voted Monday evening to accept a bid from Kentucky Bank to finance just under half the cost of the city’s new fire truck.

After the special council meeting, the Cemetery and City Property Committee met to propose plans for renovations to the Veterans Memorial Monument, located in Midway Cemetery.

The council has budgeted $125,000 for payments on the $232,000 fire truck in the fiscal year that ends June 30. Members agreed to finance the rest for five years at 1.98 percent interest with Paris-based Kentucky Bank, the only financial institution that submitted a bid.

Mayor Grayson Vandegrift said the yearly payment would be about $26,000, making the final price of the fire truck $240,178. The amount bid by Sutphen Fire Apparatus of Dublin, Ohio, was $232,258.

Last week, the council agreed to pay Sutphen $50,000 as a down payment. Vandegrift said this amount has not been sent to the company because the council was awaiting the results of the request for bids.

Now that a bid has been accepted, the council agreed to send the money within the next week. “We will contact Duncan and let them know that we have agreed to the figures of the down payment, “ said Vandegrift. Duncan Gardiner is the market president at the Kentucky Bank branch in Versailles.

The renovations of the veterans’ monument would include removal of overgrown shrubs, addition of benches, putting up new flags and placing a concrete walkway along the back of the monument. Council Member Sara Hicks mentioned that this project was not put in the budget for this fiscal year. The committee had put out a request for bids for the project but none came forward.

Council Member Steven Craig suggested allowing city workers to do the landscaping and only contracting out the concrete work.  “We need to pick our battles here on what we want, “ said Craig. He suggested putting out another request for bids but limiting it to the concrete expenses.

Council Member Libby Warfield said “We shouldn’t let the ball drop on this,” and Vandegrift agreed.

“We don’t quite have the funds to do this, this fiscal year . . . nor was it put in the budget,” he said. “But I’m with you Libby; let’s not put this off any more.”

Vandegrift said he would like to put the project in next year’s budget instead of adding it the current budget because work on the tax increment financing ordinance in December made the city spend more money on attorney fees than budgeted.

The TIF ordinance would finance the redevelopment of Midway Station by using new property and payroll taxes generated to pay the estimated $31 million cost of the redevelopment of its public infrastructure.

No one made a request to seek bids or place the monument project in the budget. The committee agreed to look into how much the project will cost so an estimated budget could be put in place. Once the budget is secured a date to begin the project will be set, but the committee agreed that no renovations should take place until after the Memorial Day event in the fiscal year that the renovations are to begin.

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