Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Francisco's Farm Art Festival, moved to Equus Run Vineyards, will be held this Saturday and Sunday

The ninth eighth annual Francisco's Farm Art Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday, June 25-26, at Equus Run Vineyards and Winery three and a half miles east of Midway. It will feature art by scores of artists from 16 states, such as this painting by Robert Rodenberger of Marietta, Ga., which Midway Renaissance is featuring in its promotions of the nationally recognized event. The wine bottle shows appears to show the Weisenberger Mill in the Scott County part of "Greater Midway," but Rodenberger says he never heard of it, according to Marcie Christensen of Renaissance. (See comment below.)

The festival is named for Col. John Francisco, who sold his farm to Kentucky's first railroad so it could create Kentucky's first railroad town. Now the only evidence of the festival in town is a banner across Winter Street, US 62, and a few directional signs. UPDATE, June 24: The vineyard is on Moores Mill Road, where today workers were placing banners along the shoulder near the entrance.
Renaissance's decision to move the festival from the Midway College campus, which upset some downtown interests, was made for several reasons, event coordinator Marcie Christensen told Business Lexington recently. "The move to Equus Run will enhance our ability to attract art patrons, expand our opportunities for creative expression, and provide broader and more diverse exposure for our corporate sponsors," she said. "The opportunity to provide an evening concert and the beautiful ambience of the vineyard will continue to elevate the reputation of the festival as a show not to be missed."

Renaissance is promoting downtown on the Francisco's Farm website, but there will be no shuttle service between the city and the vineyard. The route is on the MapQuest image below.
In tonight's edition of The Woodford Sun (which is not online), correspondent and downtown promoter John McDaniel reports that downtown merchants will have sidewalk sales this weekend, and that an "Art's Fair" with 15 artists will be held in the downtown courtyard from 10 to 5 Saturday and noon to 5 on Sunday. Those are the same hours as the festival, except that the festival will run until 6 Saturday.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Historical marker at former school for African Americans to be dedicated Saturday, June 25

The old Midway Colored School, at 215 E. Walnut St., will become the site of a state historical marker next week. The building started out as Pilgrim Baptist Church in 1872. In 1911, the Woodford County school board bought the property and established a school for African Americans. It sold the property to the Midway board in 1936. The school closed at the end of the 1953-54 school year, after the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed segregated schools. It has since been used as a laundry, beauty shop and lodge, according to the Kentucky Historical Society, which will dedicate the marker at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 25.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

City council adopts 2011-12 budget by 4-2 vote

The Midway City Council approved a budget with $912,912 in spending for the fiscal year beginning July 1 by a vote of 4 to 2 last night. The "no" votes were cast by Becky Moore, who failed in her effort to give the county planning and zoning commission the extra $5,291 it wanted, and Joy Arnold, who objected to the format of the budget "as not being clear and obvious on its face."

Moore suggested that the city had the money for the planning commission, noting that the $1,127,990 budget presumes a carry-forward balance of $215,078 at the beginning and end of the year. City Clerk Phyllis Hudson said, "That's all of our assets. It's not cash." Mayor Tom Bozarth said he tried to estimate revenue low and expenses high.

While the budget calls for spending only 81 percent of the available resources, it also anticipates $60,000 in revenue from sale of the old sewage treatment plant, just as last year's budget did, to to avail. Bozarth said after the meeting that the prospective buyer remains the same but has had other priorities. To view the budget ordinance, which was passed in the format of an Excel spreadsheet, click here.

The format confounded Arnold, right, who wanted the document to reflect the extra $6,000 that the city plans to give the Versailles Police Department to cover higher fuel costs under its contracts to patrol the whole county. Because the spreadsheet lists appropriations only in general categories, not the detail seen in the draft budget the council discussed, reflecting the change would have required a new first and second reading of the ordinance, City Attorney Phil Moloney said. To view the more detailed draft budget, click here.

The extra $6,000 will come from the $15,000 "contingency" line item in the general part of the budget. Arnold said all police expense should have its own line item because it is such an important public service. Council Member Sharon Turner sympathized with her, but said listing all the line items "would take up a page in The Woodford Sun," in which the ordinance must be published. Bozarth said the monthly budget report to the council will track police expenses, but Arnold said that report "makes very little sense because of its setup."

The budget includes more than $26,000 for the planning commission, which has asked all three local governments for more money because the decline in real-estate activity has left it with less fee income. The county provided the extra money requested of it, but Versailles did not, even though it rasied taxes. Council Member Dan Roller said he was concerned that cuts at the commission would lead to fewer housing inspections and enforcement actions against substandard properties. "There are certainly more of those than there are new properties," he said. Bozarth said the council could reconsider the commission's request "if they're having trouble."

In other second and final readings, the council approved changes in the floodplain zoning ordinance and a measure establishing local hours for bars and restaurants: 10 a.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. The council gained the authority to set hours different from the rest of the county when the legislature made Midway a fourth-class city.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Water and Sewer Task Force to meet Tuesday

The Midway Water and Sewer Task Force will hold a special meeting at noon Tuesday, June 7, in the Piper Dining Hall at Midway College. As usual, the agenda is water and sewer issues, such as the need for repairs to, and possible sale of, the water system. All task force meetings are open to the public.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

'Old Smokey' to chug through town Sat. morning

UPDATE, June 3: The engine will stay longer in Frankfort than first announced, until 11:45, so its return pass through Midway will occur about 12:05 p.m.

"Old Smokey," the steam locomotive operated by R.J. Corman Railroad Group, will pass through Midway on Saturday, to and from a special visit to Frankfort. The engine will be in Midway at 8:15 and 11:20 a.m., Mayor Tom Bozarth said in his column in today's Woodford Sun.

The locomotive is scheduled to be in Frankfort from 9 to 11:45 a.m. for "a special picture-taking opportunity," including its interior, a press release from Corman says.