Committee reviews housing, jobs, public safety
A committee working on an update of the Comprehensive Plan reviewed two chapters last Thursday, March 9. Chapters II and III were updated with new statistical data and information compiled by Planning Director Pattie Wilson. A section on existing housing characteristics in Chapter II noted that since 2010, the pace of single-family home building in Woodford County increased by 8 percent. However, an inventory of vacant platted (ready to build on) residential lots in the Versailles urban services area numbered 156 as of December 2016, which committee Chair Patty Perry described as "way down." Employment data trends showed 832 new jobs being created since 2015 with the expansions of existing industry and new manufacturing companies coming to Woodford County. Since the 2011 Comprehensive Plan update, a substantial increase in retail establishments, including Kroger's new 133,000 square-foot marketplace store, was noted in the section on employment. Chapter II of the land-use plan focuses on natural resources: land, soil and water; and human environment: historic and cultural places, and tourist attractions. An estimated 130,000 people visited Woodford Reserve Distillery, Boyd Orchards welcomed 100,000 to 110,000 visitors and Equus Run Vineyards had 49,580 visitors in 2015 or 2016 (the most recent year for which numbers were available). Chapter III of the land-use plan includes data on public services. Versailles Police officers responded to 57,551 calls for service, made 2,867 traffic stops and wrote 1,815 citations in 2016. Of 1,597 criminal incidences reported to police, 825 cases were cleared by an arrest - a 57.7 percent clearance rate. The busiest Woodford County fire station was Versailles station No. 1 with 400 calls to service (64 percent of its total). Midway station No. 4 was next busiest with 105 calls to service (or 17 percent). In 2016, the City of Versailles Fire Department's 14 full-time firefighters responded to 1,143 calls to service. Under other services, updated statistical data showed that the Woodford County Library circulated more than 208,000 items in both 2010 and 2016. However, the number of library programs when comparing those years increased from 1,212 to 1,516. With the recent additions of The Homeplace at Midway and Daisy Hill Senior Living in Versailles, Woodford County now has three senior care facilities. Taylor Manor has been here since 1961. The Comp Plan committee agreed to schedule its next work session on Thursday, April 14, to review earlier chapters and the land-use plan's transportation chapter. The work session will begin after the regular Planning Commission meeting at 6:30 p.m.