Council acts on Edgewood Farm
The Versailles City Council Tuesday night voted 5 to 0 to accept the recommendation of the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Planning Commission to allow the city to annex and rezone 336.83 acres of the Edgewood Farm property on Lexington Road. Afterwards, the council held a first reading of an ordinance to make the changes law. The next reading and a vote are likely to take place at the council's next meeting on Aug. 2. The zone changes will alter the property from A-1 (agricultural) to I-1 (light industrial), B-4 (highway business), P-1 (professional office), R-4 (high-density residential) and R1B (single family residential). Opponents of the move cite the loss of agricultural land and increased traffic on Lexington Road. Afterwards, Billy Van Pelt II, chief executive officer of the land-use advocacy group Woodford Forward, issued a strongly worded statement against the council's action. "The decision by the Versailles City Council ignored the community-wide opposition that was clearly expressed and recorded in the Planning Commission public record documents and comments made at the public opinion. The voters of Versailles, Midway and Woodford County were not heard at this meeting, but they will be heard on Nov. 8, 2016, and Nov. 6, 2018, - in the next two elections," Van Pelt said. At the request of council member Ann Miller, the council did not act on a finding from the Planning Commission involving the Backer property, but is expected to take up the issue at its next meeting. Recycling rates to rise The council held votes on two related recycling matters. The first involved a request by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government for the city to pay $15 more per-ton in processing fees for recycling hauled to the Materials Recovery Center there - the only recycling facility in the region. After some debate, the memorandum of agreement was unanimously endorsed. Next, the council discussed a request by the city's recycling and garbage contractor, Central Kentucky Hauling, to raise rates by 20 cents to help pay for the increased recycling fees. Council member Ken Kerkhoff said the council didn't have to alter its contract, under which customers pay $9.65 a month. He suggested, and the council unanimously endorsed, a dime per-month increase to begin in October. That's when the $3 per-month franchise fee to pay off the Grassy Springs Landfill comes off the books for the city's 3,000 customers. Kuhlman Boulevard Last month, the council passed an ordinance changing the name of Kuhlman Boulevard to Industry Drive, effective Sept. 1. On Tuesday, James Vicary, an employee of Pilkington North America, one of the city's largest employers, came to the council asking that they reconsider. The council made the move in an attempt to help steer trucks and other delivery vehicles away from Kuhlman Drive and Kuhlman Circle in Stonegate subdivision. Vicary said the renaming would have an undue and unnecessary financial impact on businesses along Kuhlman Boulevard, most notably when delivery trucks using GPS devices have trouble finding his facility. He admitted that Pilkington had not stayed abreast of the council's moves on the matter, which were published in The Sun. Council member Miller is an employee of Pilkington. The council took no action, but didn't rule out doing so before the name change takes effect. Soper renewal The council unanimously approved a renewal of its January contract with Woodford County Economic Development Authority (EDA) Chairman John Soper to "provide economic development services to the city of Versailles ." The six-month renewal keeps Soper's pay the same - $5,300 a month, but allows him to pursue other work upon Mayor Brian Traugott's approval. In January, Soper said his contract with the city of Versailles will not affect his unpaid work as chairman of the EDA, which recruits businesses for the entire county. Water bill adjustments The council voted unanimously to limit the number of adjustments to customers' water bills to two a year. Young golfer honored The council passed a resolution and issued a proclamation honoring seven-year-old Abigail Caine, who only began playing golf in April of 2015 but has already won numerous tournaments. She'll compete in the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship in Pinehurst, N.C., Aug. 4 to 6. New mower The council unanimously endorsed the purchase of a $7,738 mower from Central Equipment in Lexington for use in the city's cemeteries. Public Works Director Bart Miller said the price was the state government rate.