• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

Court approves $27 million in IRBs

Woodford Fiscal Court Tuesday unanimously approved an ordinance authorizing the issuance of industrial revenue bonds (IRBs) worth up to $27 million to help finance the construction of two Brown-Forman barrel warehouses. Brown-Forman officials and their attorneys say the IRBS, under which the county has the title to the improvements and Brown-Forman makes the lease payments, puts the county at no financial risk. The bonds also provide property tax breaks for the company.

Tim Eifler, an attorney for the firm representing the maker of Woodford Reserve, briefed the court on the ongoing project.

He said two warehouses at their property off Georgetown Road in Midway are already full, with 65,000 barrels in each. He explained that the barrels themselves are taxable by the county from the start, while the distillates in them are untaxed for the first two years.

Eifler said in 2016, the total local property tax generated by the warehouses was $128,376, with the bulk of it going to the Woodford Public School District. This year, that figure will be $280,481, he said. The total taxable value of their Midway operations have risen from $3.6 million in 2015 to $31.5 million this year.

In 2016, the court approved an ordinance authorizing up to $120 million in IRBs for Brown-Forman for 12 barrel warehouses. A Brown-Forman manager said that plan was altered by a creek on the property, and the company now intends to build 10. If all proceeds as planned, the company will return to the court in two years for another IRB issuance.

In response to a question from Magistrate Gerald Dotson (Dist. 5), the Brown-Forman manager acknowledged that Woodford Reserve will be the title sponsor of next year’s Kentucky Derby.

Judge-Executive John Coyle said of the issuance of the IRBs, “It’s kind of like renewing our vows with Brown-Forman.”

Griers Creek update

Roads Engineer Buan Smith said work on the Griers Creek Bridge is complete and workers are now raising the road to the higher level of the bridge. The bridge could be open again on Thursday, Nov. 30, or the next day.

Ambulance first aid station

Emergency Management Director Drew Chandler received the court’s unanimous permission to transfer a 1996 travel trailer he thought was donated after the 1997 Falmouth flood to the county ambulance service. Chandler said the trailer could be used as a first aid station for special events.

Appointments

J.D. Woods reappointment for a two-year term on the Board of Architectural Review was unanimously approved, as was Patty Perry’s for a four-year term on the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Planning Commission.

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