• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

Fiscal court to name gym for Gary Jones

Woodford Fiscal Court voted unanimously Tuesday to name the gymnasium in the Falling Springs Arts and Recreation Center for the man many credit for getting the center built: Gary C. Jones Jr., who died last week (see story below). Woodford Parks Director Rich Pictor said Monday that the Parks Board discussed naming a facility or ball field for Jones, but decided existing policy made that decision the call of the county and City of Versailles, which jointly fund the department. Magistrate Gary Finnell (Dist. 3) made a motion that the gym be named for Jones. "Gary did an awful lot for Woodford County. He got Falling Springs off the ground, and Falling Springs wouldn't be what it is today if it wasn't for Bumpy (Jones's nickname)," Finnell said. Pictor said Jones had been a basketball coach and referee and helped move basketball leagues from schools to the center. "Falling Springs was Gary's vision for a long, long time and it became a reality," Pictor said. After the meeting, Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott said the decision was the county's to make because the county has the deed to the center, but that the council will hold a symbolic vote on the naming, which he expected to pass. Emergency declared Maintenance Director Rick Wade told the court an engineering firm reported that the façade of the clock tower on the Woodford County Courthouse needs immediate repair. The exterior plywood wall sheathing has lost some of its structural value, but overall, the tower façade currently appears to be sound. …If repairs are not done soon to the tower façade, the water infiltration will continue and further deterioration will occur and may weaken the façade's overall structural soundness, according to the report from BFMJ of Lexington. The report also cited problems with two or three cut stone quoins (a solid exterior angle ) on the southeast corner of the building, which have shifted outward and could be a hazard to pedestrians. Magistrates unanimously agreed to direct Wade to seek two types of estimates: one to restore the clock tower to, as much as possible, its original condition; and the other to remove the clock tower and replace it with a roof about 12 feet above the courthouse roof. The courthouse and clock tower were dedicated on Sept. 26, 1970 - a little less than five years after the courthouse was destroyed in a fire. Before the vote, Judge-Executive John Coyle said he believed the court had "kicked the can" on the clock tower repair project as far down the road as possible. The motion directed that the quotes should include work on the southeast corner of the building and one or more quoins on the southwest corner. Salt solution Road Engineer Buan Smith proposed a solution to the county's salt storage dilemma that was accepted unanimously: to purchase the 4,000 tons required in the contract and store it on pavement at the county road department. Smith said there would be room to do so soon, after surplus vehicles are sold, and that a giant tarp will cover the salt. At the court's March 28 meeting, Smith said the county salt barn was full, and inquiries were made to other counties to see if they would purchase the salt. Finnell asked how much of the salt would be lost by keeping it under the tarp. Smith said between one and five percent, depending on the humidity - not much more than would be lost if it was kept in the barn. Smith also said that work continues at the Huntertown Community area that will become a rural park in the near future. He got the court's permission to allow a botanist and others, including the 4-H environmental club and the Woodford County High School Community Activism class, to survey the site on April 19. A clean-up is scheduled for April 22, which is Earth Day. Jail news Woodford Jailer Michele Rankin told the court an unnamed state inmate was struck by a vehicle Monday while clearing brush on Old Frankfort Pike. Rankin said the inmate was taken to a local hospital and "is fine." Rankin told the court that Chief Deputy Susie Boyd had just completed her qualifications to be a firearms instructor, and that the jail has lowered laundry costs to about a penny a load, in part because they are making their own detergent. As of that evening, the Woodford Detention Center was holding 38 federal inmates, which is the most the county's ever had, Rankin said. The federal government reimburses the county for the cost of federal inmates. Midway Station Woodford Economic Development Authority Chairman John Soper had good news regarding Midway Station. He said work on the Columbia Gas pipeline will be complete around Sept. 1, 30 days ahead of schedule. He also said the recent announcement of Toyota's $1.3 billion investment in its Georgetown Plant will increase the chances of a "Tier 1" auto parts supplier moving to Midway Station.

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