• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

Midway council votes to raise pay

MIDWAY -- The city council voted 5 to 1 Monday for an ordinance raising the pay of council members and the mayor that will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019, - after the next election. Council Member Libby Warfield voted no. The ordinance will increase the pay of council members from $50 a month to $200 and the mayor from $100 a month to $1,400. A pay hike had been discussed for months and was voted down 4 to 2 at the council's Aug. 7 meeting, when the proposal was to increase the monthly pay of council members to $400 and the mayor to $1,000. Afterwards, a work session on the matter was held and the increases were revised. Supporters say with the increased activity at Midway Station, the workload of the council is increasing rapidly, particularly for the mayor. No one spoke before the vote, which seemed to surprise Mayor Grayson Vandegrift. Council Member Kaye Nita Gallagher explained, "We've kind of already had our discussion." Police negotiations As the council discussed the latest in negotiations with city of Versailles and Woodford Fiscal Court on an extension of the 2004 police merger contract, Vandegrift had strong words about the price of the new deal. Currently, the city of Midway pays $100,000 per year for police protection from the Versailles Police Department. "There's this absurd notion from the county that we're going to pay $400,000 (annually) for police protection, and I just hope they remember that they cannot count 25,000 citizens when they tax and not count 25,000 citizens when they spend," Vandegrift said. "For $400,000, we could start our own police force, which I don't think would be smart, and I think we should just keep this thing together, and I'm very thankful that the city of Versailles has a much more reasonable figure in mind ..." Child Care Task Force The council voted unanimously to form a five-member task force charged with studying whether a private child care provider is viable and, if so, attracting one. Members include Vandegrift's wife, Katie, as chair, and Amy Bowman, Jaimie Hogan, Mary Beth Rouse and Brittany Ehrlich. Vandegrift said two members had already communicated with the executive director of the Child Care Council of Kentucky, who pledged his support. "As my wife put it, 'Well, we have a task force on bourbon -- why not a task force on babies, especially since bourbon often leads to babies,'" Vandegrift said, to laughter from council members and attendees. Kudos for emergency workers The meeting began with praise from Johnny Wilson about the response of the Midway Fire Department and Woodford County EMS workers to a Sept. 9 incident involving his wife. Wilson, of 115 W. Main Street, said the volunteer firefighters responded first and kept him and his wife, Beverly, calm. When the ambulance arrived, workers quickly determined that his wife's blood sugar was very low. She is fine now, he said. "Everybody did a great job," Wilson said. Other matters * The council voted unanimously to appoint Gallagher to the Woodford Parks Foundation, which was formed when the state legislature set aside money to help build Falling Springs Arts and Recreation Center. * After a presentation by Ken Tippett of the Woodford County Public Schools Hall of Fame, the council voted unanimously to fund the annual awards ceremony for three years at $1,000 per year. * Vandegrift said the previous weekend's Midway Fall Festival was the best-attended in city history, with an estimated 17,000 attendees. He also said he was very impressed with clean-up efforts by Spark Versailles members and others.

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