Foundation funds $150K for Falling Springs AC
The Woodford Parks Foundation Board of Directors on Wednesday, Feb. 15, voted 6-4 to pay most of the cost of a new air conditioning system at the Falling Springs Arts and Recreation Center. Voting yes were chairman Joe Barrows, his brother, Bill Barrows, Woodford Magistrates Gerald Dotson (Dist. 5) and Ken Reed (Dist. 4), Versailles City Council member Ken Kerkhoff and Ashley Keith. Voting no were John Gay, Michael Duckworth, Judy Korby and Chuck Mix, who participated in the meeting by phone. Joe Barrows first said it was not typical that members be allowed to vote by phone. The donation of $150,000 of its remaining $358,392.20 would pay more than four-fifths of the tab for the $178,510 air conditioning system, which was installed in 2002. The rest of the cost would be paid by Woodford Fiscal Court and Versailles City Council, which split the costs of Versailles-Woodford County Parks Department capital projects on a 55/45 basis. The foundation was created in 2007 when then-state House Majority Whip Joe Barrows (D-Versailles), now chair of the board, got $500,000 in the state budget. Members are unpaid. The close vote came after member John Gay remarked that the new AC system should have been a budgeted item and expressed other reservations. Pictor said two of the compressors in the then-14-year-old system went down in July, and that heat and humidity would damage the gym floor and the building itself if it wasn't replaced before this summer. Pictor also said revenue would be hurt if the system wasn't replaced because people would cancel their memberships. He said he obtained five quotes and ordered the system before the end of the year after learning the manufacturer would raise the price by five percent in January. Joe Barrows said the state funds were designed to be used for maintenance for the Falling Springs Arts and Recreation Center. Other expenditures have included $41,395 for a new boiler and water system there and $160,000 for about a quarter of the cost of a Field Turf installation at Community Stadium. "That's exactly what the $500,000 was for," he said. Gay made a motion that the request be ignored. "I think it is against our original mission statement, which states that the foundation was to establish a board of directors and a community partnership to empower the foundation to amass $2 million to $5 million dollars," Gay said. Barrows didn't recognize the motion, and after several more minutes of sometimes-heated debate, the motion to pay $150,000 for the unit passed. Tuesday night, the Versailles City Council voted unanimously to commit to pay 45 percent of the $28,510 of the remaining cost of the project, which will amount to $12,829.50.