Council donates to Christian youth group
MIDWAY - The city council voted unanimously Monday to contribute $500 to a Midway-based Christian youth ministry with a mission of helping area sixth-to-12th-graders grow as people and serve their communities. Lee and Sara Busick founded "Locally Grown" 10 months ago, shortly after they moved to Midway. Sara Busick told the council they may have seen some of the participants wearing t-shirts bearing the words, "I am locally grown." The group meets at Midway Presbyterian Church on Wednesday night and Northside Elementary School Thursday evening, and, she said, includes some kids who never went to church before. "The really beautiful thing about this program is that on a weekly basis, we are meeting new kids. They just show up. They walk in the door, they don't know us, many times they don't know anything else in this room, so it's this beautiful thing where you get to see these kids showing up with a need - with an interest in being part of the community," Busick said. Busick said one of Locally Grown's goals is that there be no cost to the children for snacks, retreats, hiking trips and other activities, which includes work on a community garden. A chief fundraiser for the group is a June 26 charity golf tournament at Moss Hill Country Club. Before she spoke, Mayor Grayson Vandegrift told the council there was still $1,100 left in the city's donation line item for fiscal 2017 (which ends June 30). After Busick fielded a few questions, Council Member Bruce Southworth suggested she send a letter requesting funds for the next fiscal year. Council Member Kay Nita Gallagher said, "We have money now." Vandegrift suggested a motion to serve as refreshment sponsor for the golf tournament for a price of $500, and the motion passed 6 to 0. Merchants Association The new head of the Midway Merchants Association gave the council an update on the Midway Sawhorse Derby going on this month. Peggy Angel said at the beginning of the year, the two-dozen-plus members of the group "set out to determine how we could better work with the city, for the city, for the community, to get us all together on the same page with events, and to drive people to our city." One result is the Midway Sawhorse Derby, which features restaurant specials and sawhorses around town that people can vote on to choose a favorite. The Sawhorse Derby will culminate April 29 with a downtown celebration, she said. Angel said another goal of her group is for the city to host four events annually, not counting the Midway Fall Festival. Block parties are once again planned with Midway Renaissance, she said. Walter Bradley Jr. Park Vandegrift said during a recent renovation of the city's website, he noticed there wasn't a mention of the city's Walter Bradley Jr. Park. That has been fixed, he said - and the park itself will be spruced up April 22 with a tree planting from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Half of the trees will be pink dogwoods. Water bills Vandegrift also said people will be able to pay their water bills online soon, with a service fee expected to be between $1 and $2. He said he thought most customers would continue to mail their bills or drop them off at City Hall, but the online payment might be attractive to someone who's out of town and wishes to avoid a $5 late fee. Weisenberger Mill Bridge Last year, the city sent a letter to the state asking that the Weisenberger Mill Bridge, which is due to be replaced, be given to the city. Leaders say it would be a good addition to Walter Bradley, Jr. Park. Vandegrift told the council that while he's not sure when the bridge will be replaced, he has been told by state Transportation Cabinet officials that it will be given to the city. A letter last year said the state would pay for the cost of transporting the historic bridge if the trip wasn't too far. Speed bumps After Council Member Bruce Southworth spoke about continued speeding problems on Stephens Street, the council voted unanimously to pay not more than $5,500 for four portable speed bumps. The money will come from the city's snow removal funds, which had $11,000 remaining after a mild winter.