Sunday, July 27, 2014

Council committee to meet Thursday on Chamber of Commerce's request for city's financial support

A special Midway City Council committee appointed to consider the Woodford County Chamber of Commerce's request for funding from the city will meet at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, July 31 at City Hall.

The meeting notice says no action will be taken, but the discussion will take place against the backdrop of a sharp exchange at Monday's council meeting between Chamber Executive Director Don Vizi and Council Member Dan Roller, who questioned the chamber's acceptance of a sponsorship from the controversial Bluegrass Pipeline.

Mayor Tom Bozarth did not appoint Roller to the committee, which consists of Bruce Southworth, Sharon Turner and Grayson Vandegrift.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

City council committee on blighted and abandoned property to meet at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday

A special committee of the Midway City Council appointed to review blighted and abandoned property will meet at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 29 at City Hall. The meeting notice says no action will be taken.

The council members appointed to the committee by Mayor Tom Bozarth are Dan Roller, Sharon Turner and Grayson Vandegrift. Turner and Vandegrift are running for mayor in the November election; Bozarth is not seeking a third term.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Tracy Farmer renamed to Racing Commission; Mary Ann Blankenship put on Southern Region Education Board

Gov. Steve Beshear has reappointed Tracy Farmer of Midway to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and named Midway resident Mary Ann Blankehship to the Southern Region Education Board.

Farmer, a Thoroughbred breeder, was among five people reappointed for three-year terms. The others were Ned Bonnie of Prospect, Louisville lawyer Tom Conway (father of Attorney General Jack Conway), Lexington lawyer Robert Beck and John W. Phillips of Darby Dan Farm.

Blankenship is executive director of the Kentucky Education Association. She replaces Tim Shaughnessy of Louisville, a former state senator who is associate provost of Gateway Community and Technical College. She will serve a four-year term on the SREB, which works with its 16 member states to improve public education at all levels. Each state has four members appointed by its governor. Beshear is the board's 2013-14 chairman.

Friday, July 18, 2014

815 Prime, Heirloom, Holly Hill Inn and Wallace Station part of Lexington Restaurant Week July 24-Aug. 2

Three Four Midway restaurants are participating in the second annual Lexington Restaurant Week, from Thursday, July 24 through Saturday, Aug. 2. The event is designed to focus attention on the wide array of eateries and menus in the area. Each of the 65 restaurants offers a $25 special, most for one person but some for two.

The Midway participants are Heirloom and 815 Prime, on Main Street; Holly Hill Inn, on North Winter Street; and Wallace Station, on Old Frankfort Pike.

Two sister restaurants of the latter two restaurants are among those participating in Lexington: Smithtown Seafood and Windy Corner Market and Restaurant, both of which are offering two-for-$25 specials.

Other Midway restaurants and businesses should expect some overflow business from the event, Grayson Vandegrift, manager of 815 Prime, said at a Midway Merchants Association meeting in March.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

EDA is taking option on agricultural tract to expand Midway Station, will seek rezoning to industrial

Prospects for industrial development at Midway Station rose again Wednesday, as the Woodford County Economic Development Authority voted to take an option on 37 acres adjoining Georgetown Road and the west side of the Station area recently rezoned industrial.

The property is the white area outlined in purple below on the plat of Midway Station. The other area outlined in purple has already been rezoned industrial. The solid purple area has been industrial since Midway Station was created more than 20 years ago.
EDA will ask the county Planning and Zoning Commission to rezone the agricultural property as industrial, creating a larger block of property to industrial buyers, said Sonny Jones, a member of the EDA board.

"With the recent up-tick in advanced manufacturing in Central Kentucky, we feel like having 80 acres available will be a significant benefit in both, attracting multiple businesses and to the taxpayers," Jones said in an email. He provided an aerial photograph of the property, outlined in gray:
EDA Chairman John Soper said in a press release, "This is a preliminary investigation wherein EDA plans to perform geotechnical, environmental and archeological studies to determine development suitability. From a planning standpoint, EDA has determined this site is well-matched with current and planned development at Midway Station. The site is also appropriate future land use as adopted in the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Comprehensive Plan. If suitable for development, Woodford EDA will ensure development is completed in a manner that compliments surrounding multiple land uses and existing infrastructure."

Soper thanked the property owners, Dr. Jim and Marilyn Roach and Julia and John Roach, "for allowing us the opportunity to market this land for the benefit of Midway and Woodford County. Per Dr. Roach’s request the land will have a restriction prohibiting the sale, manufacture or storage of any tobacco product and alcoholic beverage for human consumption." (Read more)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Candidates strike few sparks at Sparks in the Park

The annual Sparks in the Park community gathering for the Independence Day holiday had some mild sparks of another kind Thursday night, as candidates in the Nov. 4 election spoke to the crowd in Walter Bradley Park.

Most attention was focused on mayoral candidates Sharon Turner and Grayson Vandegrift, city council members who are in "a great race that we've already heard a lot of talk on the street about," master of ceremonies Jim McDaniel told the audience.

Turner, an association executive, highlighted her record as a council member since 2005 and secretary of the Midway Nursing Home Task Force since 2003. She said the city has kept its equipment up for public safety, noting impending delivery of a new fire truck, and now needs to work on water lines, sewer lines and sidewalks "and pay as we go . . . being self-sufficient but helping each other."

Vandegrift, a restaurateur, noted his leadership of the Midway Merchants Association, the Midway Fall Festival and the Woodford County Tourism Commission. He also called for infrastructure work and said "Midway is a special place that must be preserved. . . . With that delicate balance of progress and preservation, Midway could be the model for small cities in the 21st Century."

Mayor Tom Bozarth, who is not seeking a third four-year term, said both candidates to succeed him have the best interests of the city at heart, so "It's going to be in good hands in the future."
Council candidates (L-R) Steven Craig, Kaye Nita Gallagher, Sara Hicks, Dan Roller, Bruce Southworth, Libby Warfield
Candidates for the city council were scheduled to make short speeches, but the event ran late, so they simply gave brief introductions of themselves. There are seven candidates for six seats, and six of the seven attended. The incumbents in the race are Sara Hicks, Dan Roller and Bruce Southworth; the newcomers are Steven Craig, Kaye Nita Gallagher, Libby Warfield and Peggy Sharon, who was the only one not present.

The other face-off of the evening was between Democratic state Rep. James Kay and his Republican challenger, Ryan Schwartz, both of Versailles. Kay noted his ties to Midway and said he would continue to represent all the people of the district, which comprises Woodford County and parts of Fayette and Franklin counties. Schwartz said Frankfort needs leaders "who don't put politics first, who aren't afraid to lose their seats."

The crowd also heard from Bobby Gaffney, the Republican candidate for Woodford County judge-executive, who said the county needs more jobs and "We need to work toward that as hard and fast as we can." He also called for better long-range planning and said that as a Fiscal Court magistrate, he voted against building streets in Midway Station before employers located there. Few have. County Judge-Executive John Coyle did not attend.

The first speaker was Democratic congressional nominee Elisabeth Jensen, who gave a largely patriotic speech but did mention the "dysfunctional Congress." State Rep. Kim King spoke for U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, who had an official engagement in Nicholas County, McDaniel said.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Midway College expands ties with Panama; course to send equine students there for part of spring semester

Midway College has another connection with Panama. Eight Midway College juniors will have the opportunity to spend part of the spring semester in the Central American country, as part of a new partnership with the University of Panama School of Veterinary Medicine and a Panamanian horse farm, financed by an anyonymous donor.

As part of a semester-long course, the students will observe and participate in activities related to breeding, foaling and the management of breeding stock at Cerro Punta Horse Farm, according to a press release from the college. That will give them "a foundation in collaborating with colleagues whose culture differs from their own, a vital skill in the international equine industry," the release said.

"This program will give the young women who participate an extraordinary opportunity to forge connections, absorb a new culture and gain experience that will set them apart as leaders in their chosen fields," Dr. John P. Marsden, president of the college, said in the release.

"The partnership was forged by Rosa Ponce-Sanabria, director of multicultural and international affairs at Midway, and the curriculum was developed by Midway's equine faculty under the leadership of Dr. Laura Armesto, the provost and vice president for academic affairs," the release said.

Midway's students will help care for horses, observe the veterinarian during routine evaluations, assist with routine neonatal examinations, and participate in routine post-partum care for mares," the release said. "Following their return to Midway, they will participate in discussions and lectures that will require them to apply their knowledge of equine breeding operations in Central Kentucky and Panama.

"In addition to intensive study of Panama's equine industry, students will be immersed in the language, history, culture and economy of the country and will reflect on these experiences with their campus community upon their return. This initiative correlates with the college's new strategic plan and puts important components together to address the specific goals of expanding study-away opportunities, establishing partnerships with international universities and colleges, and to further internationalize the campus community."

Midway College recently welcomed a group of Panamanian students in a college-readiness program.