Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Council OKs bid for vets' memorial walkway, mayor's idea for joint meetings with other governing bodies

The Midway City Council will spend $14,005 to build a 10-foot-wide walkway along the back side of the veterans memorial in the Midway Cemetery, a long-discussed improvement.

Acceptance of the bid from Turn to Stone was recommended by the council's Cemetery and City Property Committee and accepted by the council at its regular meeting Monday evening.

The council also heard and saw a presentation from Billy Van Pelt of Woodford Forward about the group's recent survey of Woodford County citizens' attitudes and opinions about development, farmland preservation and other issues. For a story about the survey, click here.

Van Pelt said those who responded to the survey, representing about 13 percent of the county's households, have "a sense of stagnation in growth and development" but still want to protect prime farmland.

"They're thirsty for business to come in," said Martha DeReamer of The Matrix Group, who supervised the self-selected survey. She said there was no way to know how the opinions of non-respondents might differ from those of respondents, but the diversity of the results suggest "no red flags" in the methodology.

Mayor Grayson Vandegrift complimented the work. "I've seen a lot of surveys like this over the years and this is one of the best I've ever seen," he said. "It's a great resource for us." The survey broke out opinions of Midway residents, Versailles residents and the rural parts of the county.

Van Pelt said Woodford Forward would make the same presentation to the Versailles City Council on Tuesday night, and hold an open house at Woodford Reserve at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday for interested people to meet members of the group and discuss the issues.

Vandegrift said the survey gave him an idea: that the city councils and the Woodford County Fiscal Court should have a joint meeting twice a year to discuss broad issues facing the county and "talk about how to move forward together, not look backward." Noting survey results, he said, "Clearly the people of Woodford County want to see the three governing bodies work better together."

The mayor asked for the council's blessing to approach Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott and County Judge-Executive John Coyle about the idea. The council agreed. Council Member Dan Roller said the communities that win awards are those where the county and cities are not competing with each other.

Among other business, Vandegrift reported that the new turnout gear for the fire department has been delivered, Council Member Libby Warfield complimented Vandegrift for recent paving repairs near Midway Grocery, and Roller complimented the police department for its response to the Friday burglary of Railroad Drug, in which the burglar was apprehended after a silent alarm alerted owner Ken Glass.

The council again briefly discussed the need for repairs to the city's welcome sign near Interstate 64. Vandegrift said they had talked about using some material other than wood, and he lnoew two people in town who might be able to do the work, but "I'd like to see some ideas."

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