Traugott updates board on city matters
Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott provided Woodford County Board of Education members with an update on city business during Monday night's board meeting. Traugott focused his discussion on land-use issues, but as he prepared to present a budget to city council on Tuesday, the mayor told school board members: "It cannot get any better in the City of Versailles." Traugott described getting More Than A Bakery to locate its new manufacturing facility to Big Sink Pike as "a huge, huge success for the City of Versailles. It's a big deal." He said the important role that Woodford County Public Schools played in getting that business to locate here cannot be minimized. "The education system matters in economic development. It makes my job easier. And it is not unappreciated," Traugott told board members. He said one other Central Kentucky city was also trying to get More Than A Bakery to locate in its community, "but the school system, I think, was the tipping point." More Than A Bakery will break ground at its new home in July, said Traugott. He said the company will employ 300 workers after the first phase of construction. In a couple of years, an expansion will increase its number of employees to 500 "and that includes many white collar positions." Traugott said an 82-room Holiday Inn Express is coming to a lot in the mostly vacant Versailles Center property on the U.S. 60 Bypass at Lexington Road. "A hotel is something the community has longed for. It gives us a little bit of credibility on the tourism front," he said. Traugott said construction on the new Holiday Inn Express will probably not begin until next spring, "but it's definitely still a go." Traugott has voiced his opposition to two Lexington Road developments, but said he supports the Edgewood Farm mixed-use development because it will provide 108 acres of industrial land and a suitable site for a new Bluegrass Community Hospital on Lexington Road at Paynes Mill Road. "That's something (a new hospital) that I'm very, very excited about," he said. The Planning Commission did not take action last Thursday on the zone change request and Comprehensive Plan amendment, which are necessary for the Edgewood Farm development plan to move forward. (See separate story.) School board Chair Ambrose Wilson IV, who invited Traugott to speak at Monday's meeting, said Midway Mayor Grayson Vandegrift will talk with board members during their next regular meeting at Northside Elementary School on Tuesday, May 24. And he left a message for Woodford County Judge-Executive John Coyle inviting him to come speak at a future board meeting. "We all have different responsibilities," said Wilson, "but we also have some shared responsibilities. One of which I believe is to enrich the quality of life for everybody in Woodford County." Schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins lauded Traugott for supporting sustainable growth in the City of Versailles that benefits everyone while also recognizing how such changes can affect many different areas of Woodford County as well.