Monday, July 18, 2016

Midway University growing, looking for Aug. 20 service projects for students; council OKs firearms ordinance

A growing Midway University is looking for community service work that its students can perform from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Aug. 20, as part of their orientation, the City Council heard Monday night.

In other business, the council passed an ordinance banning discharge of firearms in the city unless needed to protect person or property, and heard some financial reports from Mayor Grayson Vandegrift.

The council heard from Tracy Small-Spotts, the university's director of student involvement and leadership, about the community service day, which she said is designed to correct "the slight disconnect between the university and Midway."

Small-Spotts said the school is looking for seven to 10 community-service sites, most of which could accommodate 20 to 25 students. She said the school is expecting "one of our biggest enrollments," including 150 new resident students. For the first time, some will be men, and the university has also accepted students from Saint Catharine College near Springfield, which has closed.

She said the students could clean up homes, yards, parks and so on. Council members and Vandegrift offered some suggestions for work sites and groups who might be asked to help set them up.

The firearms ordinance is needed, said Asst. Chief Mike Murray of the Versailles Police Department, which patrols all of Woodford County. The council set the penalty for violation of the ordinance at $100 to $250.

Vandegrift noted that the city ended the fiscal year with a $150,000 surplus in its general fund, with lesser surpluses in other funds. The primary reason was more than $394,000 in occupational taxes, which had been budgeted at $275,000. The main reason for that was The Homeplace at Midway, the new nursing home and assisted-living facility.

Vandegrift also reported that he had consolidated the city's information-technology services with a single contractor, which he said would be more efficient and save at least $2,000 a year.

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