• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

City council hears hotel plan details

The Lexington-based developers for a planned hotel in Versailles Tuesday gave the city council an update on their plan to bring a Holiday Inn Express and Suites to the old Versailles Center property. Don Howard and Jeff Yeary of H&W Management said the hotel will be four stories tall, have 81 rooms, an indoor swimming pool, an exercise room and a small conference room. It would be built on the back 11 acres of the property, with rooms costing an average of $105 to $107 a night. The hotel would be the first in Versailles for many years, the lack of which has long been cited as one of Woodford County's greatest needs. ". We are actually under contract to buy a site from them (the land owners) right now. They're going through and getting their development plan approved - they've got to get that done in order to make a deed to us and sell us the property ." Howard said. Howard said the hotel will be visible from Lexington Road and the U.S. 60 Bypass. Construction, pending approval from the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Planning Commission and private parties, could begin this fall, with the hotel opening a year afterwards. Howard said planners would like to see a restaurant in the area, a plan that would require the approval of the McDonald's corporation, which has a deed restriction on the property. Council member Carl Ellis asked if the restaurant would be a "sit-down" type. Howard said they wanted something that would serve lunch and dinner. Council member Ken Kerkhoff asked if they'd consider a tent to expand their meeting space area, a proposal Howard and Yeary said they liked. Council member Gary Jones asked if the hotel would be pet-friendly, to which they said they weren't sure. Council member Ann Miller asked what the community could do to help. Yeary replied, "When we open it up, use it." Main Street Clean Sweep Former council member Mike Coleman told the council he'd been contacted by Bluegrass Greensource recently about their Main Street Clean Sweep program, which will be held on Earth Day, April 22. Coleman said that last year, 17 communities in the area took part, including Versailles and Midway. Only two people participated in Versailles, picking up one bag of litter, while 30 volunteers in Midway picked up 22 bags and 264 pounds of garbage. Bluegrass Greensource provides trash bags, gloves, litter grabbers, safety vests and t-shirts for volunteers. The council eventually approved a motion allowing the Woodford County Solid Waste/Recycling Department to park its truck in the Douglas Avenue/Lewis Walton Park area. Volunteers will meet there on Earth Day at noon and clean those and other areas until 4 p.m. Huntertown Road sidewalk Woodford County Magistrate Mary Ann Gill (Dist. 7) and county Road Engineer Buan Smith were on hand to ask for a slight increase in the city's portion of the cost for a sidewalk on Huntertown Road. The city and county are using federal matching grant dollars to build a 1.4-mile sidewalk in the area, some of which is in front of Huntertown Elementary School. Gill told the council they'd recently learned that the Bluegrass Area Development District charged a 1.5 percent fee for grant assistance, leading to a request for $479.65 more from the city. (The county faces a $1,062.01 increase.) A motion to that effect passed unanimously. Fairness Ordinance Before the meeting, the council's administrative and legal committee met to discuss a proposed "Fairness Ordinance" to protect gay, lesbian and transgender members of the community. At the end of the council meeting, Ellis told his colleagues the committee was studying a plan that would amend the interlocal agreement governing the Woodford County Human Rights Commission (HRC) with Woodford Fiscal Court and the City of Midway. In late 2014, Midway approved a Fairness Ordinance. Any change in the HRC agreement would require approval from both cities and the county. Ellis told the council the committee ended its meeting with no consensus, adding the matter was "to be continued."

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