Council gets Lakeshore Learning update
MIDWAY - A top official with Lakeshore Learning Material's soon-to-be opened Midway Station branch told the city council Monday the company will hire more than 100 workers by the end of this year. Vice President of Distribution Paul Chisholm said it's been 19 weeks since the company broke ground on the facility, which will eventually employ 262 full-time and 150 seasonal workers. Underground utilities are in place, the concrete slab for the 500,000 square feet building has been laid, and the roof should be on by May 16. Chisholm said the "big push" for hiring will begin in August or September, and that the company plans to "go live" Sept. 29 and begin shipping its educational materials Nov. 3. "So far, right now, everything is running great. The support we've gotten from the state and the city and the mayor and you folks has been phenomenal. We're excited to be here and we just can't wait to get on-site here," Chisholm said. Chisholm said earlier in the day, he'd visited Midway University to explore the possibility of leasing temporary conference room space for the hiring of key managers and supervisors. The space would also be used for testing and software configuration, he said. Council member Bruce Southworth asked Chis-holm about the company's already-planned expansion at Midway Station. Chisholm said the additional 18 acres the company will purchase will allow the plant to grow to 750,000 square feet, which will be needed for the company to serve the 70 percent of its customers east of the Rocky Mountains. Mayor Grayson Vandegrift reminded the council that as part of the package that lured Lakeshore to Midway Station, the state pledged $100,000 to widen the company's entrance at McKinney Drive. Vandegrift said some utilities in the area would probably have to be moved, and that the work should be finished in September or October. Cemetery house Vandegrift said there's been no interest in the city's offer to let a person or company move the caretaker's house out of the Midway City Cemetery. He asked for the council's unofficial go-ahead to have the building, parts of which are in disrepair, torn down. "Our city employees feel like ... they can do the work. I'm not convinced of that yet - not that I don't trust those guys. I trust them very much, but I have some safety concerns," Vandegrift said. Council member Sara Hicks asked if Vandegrift had considered offering the house to Habitat for Humanity. Vandegrift said he didn't know if the non-profit agency would be interested in moving and rehabilitating the house, but he'd check. Good budget news Vandegrift told the council that in the first quarter the city took in $331,000 in payroll taxes for fiscal 2017, which ends June 30. The council's 2017 budget projected a total of $400,000 in payroll taxes for the entire year. Race for Education The council voted 5 to 0 to approve an event permit for the 14th annual 5K and 10K race, which will be held April 8. Council member Kaye Nita Gallagher was absent.