Court passes tax incentive for bakery
Woodford Fiscal Court voted unanimously Tuesday to allow More Than A Bakery to keep one-third of the 1.5 percent payroll tax on its 310 employees for the next decade. The move follows an identical measure by the Versailles City Council last week, and is part of the local and state tax incentive plan that helped persuade the company to expand to Versailles. More Than A Bakery is expected to spend $57.1 million on a 250,000 to 300,000 square foot facility on Big Sink Road and begin operations by December 2017. The company said the average wage there will be $22 an hour. Shryocks Ferry Bridge County Road Engineer Buan Smith's plan to spend $76,757.82 in county funds for a new bridge on Shyrocks Ferry Road received unanimous approval. Before the vote, Smith told the court that the state would chip in $240,000 for the bridge - the maximum for the state match from its Rural Road Aid fund. Smith said the state funds would amount to three years' worth of the 80-20 state-county match program. The bridge will be built by low bidder Hayden Construction of Springfield. Smith also received a unanimous go-ahead to use materials from the recently torn-down barn at the Woodford County Park to build a shed for county "pick-up sized vehicles." The shed will be installed where the vehicles are now parked, and built by county employees. New warning siren Woodford Emergency Management (EM) Director Drew Chandler updated the court on his plan to install a new outdoor warning siren on property owned by the Kentucky Methodist Home near Hope Lane off Lexington Road. The siren would serve 222 households and many more, should further residential development occur there. Chandler said Kentucky Utilities provided the best quote for the installation of the siren (which the county already possesses) at $6,000 and a motion to that effect passed unanimously. Chandler told The Sun that the siren could be up and running by the end of March - just before severe weather season. Chandler also received permission to spend $11,000 of already-budgeted funds to convert a county vehicle into a mobile command unit for the EM program and other county and city emergency departments. Wrecked ambulance County EMS Director Hunter Shewmaker told the court that the insurance arm of the Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo) told him a recently wrecked ambulance was worth $30,000. Shewmaker had said previously that repairing and recertifying the ambulance would be prohibitively expensive. Tuesday he asked the court for permission to buy back the vehicle for $2,736, and that the 2008 engine in it alone was worth more than that. A motion to that effect passed unanimously. Treasurer to leave After an encouraging financial report, County Treasurer Becky Wilson informed the court that she was resigning as treasurer and tax administrator to pursue an opportunity in the private sector. April 5 will be her last day on the job. "I certainly have come to respect your opinion on things and you certainly will be missed by all of us," Judge-Executive John Coyle said. County Attorney Alan George told Wilson he was happy for her, but the news sort of ruined his day. "You've been a magnificent steward of the county's money," George said. Wilson has been county treasurer for more than 13 years. She received a standing ovation from the court and crowd. Last meeting for Clark Janice Clarke took part in her last fiscal court meeting as executive director of the Jack Jouett House. Her last suggested motion was adopted unanimously - to install two signs at the driveway there reminding visitors that alcohol use was prohibited on county property. After her remarks, state Rep. James Kay presented Clark with a certificate of appreciation from the state House of Representatives and another designating her a Kentucky Colonel. Clark's last day will be March 16. She also received a standing ovation. Appointments Hampton "Hoppy" Henton was appointed to a four-year term to the Woodford Rural Land Board. Retired Judge Tony Wilhoit was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Gayle Franklin Jr. on the Woodford County Human Rights Commission. That term ends Dec. 31, 2017. Executive session The court met in executive session for about 40 minutes of a two-hour meeting, but took no action afterward.