• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

Court votes to remove Shryocks Ferry gate

Before a near standing-room only crowd, Woodford Fiscal Court Tuesday voted unanimously for a motion to remove a gate about 180 feet from the end of Shryocks Ferry Road. The vote stemmed from a request last year by David Dean and Sally Droste, who live at 2925 Shryocks Ferry Road, to make the final 180 feet of the road private. They said they installed the gate in April 2010 with the encouragement of Jason Walton, the then-supervisor of the Versailles Water Treatment Plant. Walton and his wife, Shirley, were killed in a motorcycle accident later that year, but present-day Versailles city officials have not disputed the accounts of Dean and Droste. Dean and Droste said Walton wanted to make it harder for people to get to the city’s raw water intake and pump station at the Kentucky River and the nearby treatment plant. For years, they closed and locked the gate at nighttime and “often on weekends,” according to Dean. Dean, Droste and others who live nearby also favored closing the road to cut down on the number of people trespassing and riding ATVs through Griers Creek, which feeds into the Kentucky River there. They said they stopped closing the gate in October upon the request of Woodford Judge-Executive John Coyle, who’d received several complaints. On Dec. 12, a well-attended public hearing on the discontinuance of the road was held before that evening’s fiscal court meeting. Some magistrates said they were surprised by opposition to the proposal. On Tuesday, Magistrate Jackie Brown (Dist. 8) made the motion to remove the gate. When introducing that portion of the agenda, Coyle asked if magistrates were prepared to vote, or if any wanted to hear more public comment on the issue. None asked for more public comments. Magistrates Duncan Gardiner (Dist. 6) and Mary Ann Gill (Dist. 7) did explain their positions. Gardiner said a recent visit to the site showed that even in winter, it was difficult to see the water level of the Kentucky River from the gate. Gill said city officials told her they weren’t opposed to beefing up fencing around the area, which has served as the intake and pump station since 1932. Before the vote, one man in the audience asked to speak, saying he hadn’t had the opportunity to do so at the public hearing. His request was denied. Woodford Fiscal Court uses Robert’s Rules of Order to determine such issues. Clerk, sheriff budgets County Clerk Sandy Jones’s proposed budget for calendar year 2018 of $874,785.44 was unanimously approved, as was her request for $643,713.75 for pay and benefits for her employees. The court also unanimously approved Sheriff Johnny Wilhoit’s budget of $1,056,192.53 for pay and benefits for his employees in calendar year 2018. Appointments The court unanimously approved Coyle’s nominations of Greg Blades and Ellen Gregory for their second three-year terms on the Woodford Agriculture Extension District Board. Final words For Coyle, this was the first meeting of his last year in office. He ended the brief meeting with these words: “He who breaks a resolution is a weakling. He who makes one is a fool.”

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