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Midway council approves tax rates

MIDWAY - The city council Monday voted 5 to 0 to approve real and personal property tax rates, the latter of which will drop by more than a cent-and-a-half per $100 of assessed value. Council Member Libby Warfield was absent. The real property rate will remain at 10.2 cents per $100, while the personal property rate will drop from last year's 14 cents to 12.43 cents. Peace in the Park Mayor Grayson Vandegrift promoted a "Peace in the Park" event that will be held in the quarry area at Walter Bradley Jr. Park Sundayfrom 4 to 6 p.m. "In no way is this intended to be a political thing at all. ... It's really something I've been thinking about for a little while, anyway. Certainly, the events of Charlottesville sort of accelerated this. I just think with the growing presence of white nationalist groups in cities in America - and trust me, I'm not worried about the 300 or so goons going from city to city trying to stir up domestic terrorism. What I'm more concerned about is the amount of sympathy that they get," Vandegrift said. He said the goals of the event will be to celebrate diversity and have an honest, respectful discussion, and that "race is just one of those issues that we don't talk about enough." Vandegrift said part of the program will feature an open microphone, and that while two officers with the Versailles Police Department will be present, he didn't anticipate any problems. Sign ordinance The council heard first reading of a text amendment to zoning laws to allow wall signs in industrial areas to be as large as one square foot per linear foot of building frontage. The measure was designed to accommodate the needs of Lakeshore Learning Materials at Midway Station. The second reading will take place at the council's special meeting Thursday, Aug. 24, at 4 p.m. Upcoming events The council unanimously approved three measures for the Sept. 16 and 17 Midway Fall Festival: an event permit, road closure and a "civic event" declaration to allow the sale and consumption of alcohol in the festival area. The council also unanimously approved an event permit for the Bourbon Country Burn, a three-day bicycle rally that begins and ends at the Kentucky Horse Park. Cyclists will travel through Midway on the first day, Sept. 29. Organizer Austin Render said he believed between 200 and 250 cyclists will take part, and agreed to pay the city $50 for water from a spigot at Walter Bradley Jr. Park. Council Member Sara Hicks said she was concerned about the safety of cyclists, and Render said they'd work with law enforcement to make sure the rally is as safe as possible. Human Rights funding The council voted unanimously to pay the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Human Rights Commission $500, the same amount as last year. The money will come from the city's donations fund, which Vandegrift said still had about $2,000 remaining. Work session The council will hold a work session following its special meeting Thursday, Aug. 24, at 4 p.m. to discuss a possible pay raise for council members and the mayor that could take effect at the beginning of 2019. On Aug. 7, the council voted four to two against an ordinance that would have raised the pay of council members from $50 to $400 per month, and the mayor from $100 to $1,000. Council Members Sara Hicks and Steve Simoff provided the two yes votes. After the meeting, Simoff said he'd wanted to amend the ordinance to cut the council's pay raise to $200 monthly, but wondered whether the amendment was in order, which it was.

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