Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Council panel endorses proposed contract that would have city pay 4.25 percent of Versailles' police costs

Midway would pay 4.25 percent of Versailles' police costs under a proposed five-year contract endorsed by a committee of the Midway City Council Wednesday. That would be about $166,000 for the next fiscal year but could be more as costs increase.

Bruce Southworth, chair of the Public Works and Services Committee, told the members that Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott wanted to base the contract on a percentage, not a flat fee, because of uncertainty about what the city will have to pay into its pension fund as part of the state pension crisis.

Versailles' police budget is $3.9 million a year, which would make the first year's payment $165,975 if the Midway council approves the contract. That would be 66 percent more than the current annual cost of $100,000, but Midway officials have long expected a big increase; the Woodford County Fiscal Court has already agreed to pay Versailles more -- $1.4 million, or 38 percent of the city's police budget -- for patrolling the unincorporated areas of the county.

Southworth said the cost of the proposed contract for Midway in the first year would be $101 per person. "I think it's fair," he said.

Council Member John McDaniel said the amount was lower than he expected, and said that he expects Versailles will be accommodating "if we need things done." The current contracts calls for police coverage in the city limits 16 hours a day, with the third shift available on call.

The other committee member, Council Member Kaye Nita Gallagher, agreed but reiterated her feeling that the police patrols aren't visible enough. "They're going to have to police more," she said. But she also agreed with McDaniel and Southworth that the city couldn't afford to re-establish its own police department for that amount of money.

If approved by the council, the new contract would go into effect July 1, the beginning of the 2018-19 fiscal year.

The committee also discussed a request by Gary Smith to extend a city water line to his recently purchased half-acre lot at 5799 Midway Road (US 62), just outside the southern city limits, near the veterinary clinic. The members agreed that Smith should pay the cost of the extension, which would probably involve boring and casing under the road, but that the city should not require annexation of the property for extension of the line.

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