Sunday, June 14, 2015

Council set to hear new burning ordinance, consider deals on emergency management, fish farming

A new open-burning ordinance, a deal for fish farming at the old sewage-treatment plant, and a long-debated agreement on emergency management are among the agenda items for the Midway City Council meeting set for 5:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

The council is scheduled to hear first reading of the burning ordinance, which would replace emergency ordinances passed in 2012 and 2014. It would ban the burning of rubbish or buildings for the purpose of disposal and open burning "that is offensive or objectionable because of smoke emissions . . . when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous. It would allow cooking fires, "properly protected and contained fires" and fires for which the fire chief has issued a permit. Violation would be punishable by a fine of $50 to $500 and/or up to 30 days in jail; the current ordinance's penalty is a fine of $1 to $100 per day.

The proposed emergency management agreement is between Midway, Versailles and Woodford County. It would resolve the lengthy impasse over funding of the program by bringing into the formula the $30,000 that the county gets each year from the state for emergency management. It would reduce Midway’s contribution by $1,950 and Versailles’ by $10,320, based on population. The council gave preliminary approval to the agreement in April.

The fish farming agreement would be with Advancing Sustainable Aquaculture Performance LLC, a limited-liability company formed by Steve Mims of Frankfort, who started experimental fish farming at the old wastewater treatment plant a few years ago when he was a professor at Kentucky State University. The draft agreement would be for one year and could be renewed twice. It calls for ASAP to pay the city $100 a year plus an unspecified percentage of the company's "gross profits." Mims plans to raise 40,000 largemouth bass fingerlings from June through October, as stock for fish farmers who would raise them for sale. He already has a similar deal with the City of Frankfort.

The proposed agreements and ordinance, the minutes of the June 1 meeting and other documents are in the council's meeting packet, which can be downloaded as a 10.7 mb PDF here.

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