Council votes to allow St. Leo's purchase
The Versailles City Council voted 5 to 0 Tuesday for a motion that could result in the city paying up to $400,000 for the old St. Leo School property on Elm Street, which would clear the way for the city to build a new police station there. Council member Gary Jones was absent. The motion allows Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott to negotiate a deal with CKS, LLC, which is made up of Tim Cambron, Jack Kain, and Fred Seitz. Kain told The Sun that they bought the 2.1-acre property two years ago at "absolute public auction" in order to help St. Leo Church. A new St. Leo School opened on Huntertown Road around 2010. Kain said the old school was constructed nearly 60 years ago, and that he and his partners would make no money on the deal. Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott praised the trio, saying the city would be "eternally grateful" to them. The motion includes several conditions, among them that CKS must demolish the existing structures at its expense, remove hazardous materials, and that core drillings there must be satisfactory. If the deal goes through, city leaders aim to build a new police station there, which Traugott told The Sun could cost $4 million, though that figure could be revised. City audit Heather Cochran of the accounting firm RFH presented the annual audit of the city's finances. She praised city employees for their assistance, calling the audit the smoothest she's taken part in. Among the highlights was a $570,142 improvement in the governmental fund change in the fund balance category. "Overall, your numbers look really good this year," Cochran said. Code Enforcement Board The council voted unanimously in favor of five ordinances that will establish a Code Enforcement Board and amending laws the board will oversee. Among the highlights: . An ordinance assigning the duties of the Vacant Properties Commission to the Code Enforcement Board. . An ordinance establishing the Code Enforcement Board and detailing how it will enforce the city's nuisance code and the penalties for violations. Traugott called it "one of the most impactful ordinances adopted this year." . An ordinance amending present law requiring five days' notice to owners of property with overgrown grass before the city can mow the area and bill the owner. When the city has previously cited the owner, it would now be able to step in immediately. . An ordinance adding non-working or wrecked or junked vehicles for more than 20 days to the nuisance list. Soper contract The council unanimously passed a motion setting a new contract for John Soper III, who's provided economic development services for the city for all year and is unpaid chairman of the Woodford County Economic Development Association. Traugott said he believed the proposal would be adopted by Woodford Fiscal Court and the Midway City Council next year. If both bodies agree, Soper would be paid a total of $5,720 a month for a one-year contract to provide economic development services to all three governments, and could also continue as EDA chair. Under the contract, the city of Versailles would contribute $2,860 per month, the county, $2,002, and the city of Midway, $858. Zone change request The council voted unanimously in favor of a zone change of 27.377 acres in the Wooldridge Gardens subdivision from single family residential to high density residential. The request had been unanimously endorsed by the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Planning and Zoning Commission Jones and Ellis Traugott praised retiring council members Carl Ellis and Gary Jones for their work for the city. Ellis served four terms and before that, about a dozen years with the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Planning and Zoning Commission, including five as chairman. Jones served the city and county in numerous ways over the years, including a stint as executive director of the Jack Jouett House. He's been ill much of this year, and Traugott said his prayers and those of his fellow council members are with him.