• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

EDA moves on Roach, Big Sink properties

The Woodford County Economic Development Authority (EDA) voted 4 to 0 Tuesday to exercise options on the Roach (adjacent to Midway Station) and Big Sink Road properties. Friday’s meeting was postponed due to the weather. Members Lauren Groves and Ed Crowley were absent. The votes came after a closed, executive session lasting more than 40 minutes. The Roach option allowed the EDA to purchase 14.994 acres for $299,880 in order to sell it to American Howa Kentucky (AHK) for $674,730. The sale was given the go-ahead in another unanimous motion, as was an agreement to set up an escrow fund at United Bank that will use some of the profits from the sale to help pay to bring natural gas to the property. Last month, EDA Chairman John Soper told the Midway City Council that the auto parts manufacturer will spend $13 million to build a 100,000 square-foot facility and hire 54 workers. The company could begin construction in February, Soper said then. The Big Sink vote allows the EDA, which already had an option to purchase 47 acres there, a new option to purchase the entire 113-acre farm in order to market the land to a “potential industrial client.” A second motion, passed unanimously, allows the EDA to sponsor an effort to rezone the land from agricultural to light industrial. A third motion, also passed 4 to 0, allows EDA Executive Director Craig McAnelly to hire a surveyor to survey the newly purchased land before the rezoning effort. New state regulation Earlier, Soper discussed House Bill 1, a new effort by the state legislature to register all existing special district governmental entities. “Craig and I have looked at this, and Craig did make the call, and we verified that it does apply to us. … We’re a special purpose government entity. I think in the short run, the easy answer is that we’re doing everything we need to be – we’ll verify that by getting an audit and so forth. We do need to register …” Soper said, adding that he believed the cost to register will be $250 or $500. “The good side of this is that we’re already doing the things that they want these agencies to be doing. We just haven’t registered as that type of agency so they know that we exist,” McAnelly said. Strategic planning process Soper said it had been “a couple or three years” since the EDA met to update its strategic plan. “I think that with, possibly, the Fields property coming online (where a new hospital may be built at the corner of Lexington Road and Paynes Mill Road) and additional industrial land, the changes and success we’ve had over at Midway, I think the timing is good to start this process …” Soper said. He suggested the group gather on an unspecified Saturday morning to do so.

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