• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

EDA to keep McAnelly - for now

The Woodford Economic Development Authority (EDA) agreed Friday, Dec. 9, to keep Executive Director Craig McAnelly for now, though a resolution passed by the Versailles City Council means the EDA will foot the bill for part of his pay. McAnelly works for the Bluegrass Area Development District (Bluegrass ADD), which has a $42,000 annual contract with the EDA for McAnelly's services. On Nov. 15, the Versailles City Council voted unanimously voted to give Bluegrass ADD a 30-day opt-out notice. Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott proposed having the EDA begin to pay unpaid Chairman John Soper $60,000 a year plus $721 a month for health insurance. Since the beginning of the year, Soper has been paid $5,300 a month by the Versailles City Council for economic development services to the city. Midway Mayor Grayson Vandegrift said he was opposed to parts of the restructuring, and negotiations between the two mayors and Woodford Judge-Executive John Coyle are ongoing. Glen Kelly said the EDA didn't have the resources to pay McAnelly on a long-term basis. William Downey suggested keeping McAnelly on for a month or two, and no one expressed opposition. Members agreed to continue its Bluegrass ADD contract through at least the end of January, which will require the EDA to pay the $1,875 per-month that would have been provided by the city of Versailles. "Bluegrass ADD - Craig McAnelly - he's done a wonderful job, a great job ." said Gene Hornback. "You've been a great asset to John (Soper) and John (Coyle), I think you've learned a whole lot from Craig ." Hornback said the EDA should keep Soper on board and keep Craig involved until the councils and fiscal court can "get it together." The next EDA meeting is scheduled for Jan. 27. Barn talk McAnelly said a plan for the EDA to pay to salvage and move a barn on land purchased from the Homer Freeny Jr. Trust in Midway was proving to be more expensive than expected. The barn will have to be cut in half before it can be moved an estimated 80 yards, and could now cost $48,600, which is above the EDA's procurement limit, McAnelly said. "So we'll probably have to advertise (for bids) for that. The problem is that there aren't many people who do that kind of work, so he may end up being the only bidder anyway," McAnelly said. Hornback wondered if Freeny could use some of the money Lakeshore Learning paid for his land to move the barn. McAnelly said a few years ago, the EDA paid $5,000 of a $20,000 bill for moving a barn belonging to the Greathouse family. No decisions were made on the matter. Economic impact Soper shared a document he said he'd been asked by Traugott to prepare showing new revenues from jobs the EDA helped lure to Woodford County over the last two years. Among the highlights, which Soper said he compiled using figures from the state Cabinet for Economic Development: . In Midway, 309 jobs from American Howa Kentucky (AHK) and Lakeshore Learning with a projected payroll of $11,025,156. . In Versailles, 514 jobs from Quad/Graphics, OSRAM Sylvania, More Than A Bakery and Yokohama with a projected payroll of $20,198,540. . County-wide, 823 jobs with a projected payroll of $31,223,696. McAnelly handed out a state report showing since the beginning of 2012, businesses expanding in or relocating to Woodford County had invested $303,933,883, creating an eventual 984 jobs. McAnelly's contract with the EDA began in September of that year, which is also when Soper was named chairman. Midway Station Soper said developer Dennis Anderson, who has an option to purchase property at Midway Station, would likely close on a one-acre lot there in January for a convenience store that "should generate at least $117,000 to the note (the debt on Midway Station) ." Lakeshore Learning's purchase of land there helped cut the debt at Midway Station by 25 percent, Soper said. ". I'm working on another deal that could take up four or five acres over there - I don't know if it will happen or not ." Soper said, adding that "the home run" would be a hotel at Midway Station. "I think things are moving in the right direction, and I'm pretty optimistic about it," Soper said.

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