• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

Fiscal Court hears request for indoor softball facility - Group would pay for building, costs

Under a plan suggested by a local non-profit group at Woodford Fiscal Court Tuesday night, a 12,000 square foot indoor facility could be built at the Woodford County softball complex – paid for and maintained by the group.

Frank Hestand of Kentucky Youth Softball, Inc. (KYSF) said the indoor practice facility would include a press box, concession stand and restrooms that could be used by other groups. The building would be adjacent to Field No. 9 and would allow teams and individuals to practice indoors, which would cut down on the number of players who travel elsewhere to hone their skills.

The proposed lease agreement was $1 per year for 99 years, but could be adjusted, as could other terms of the deal. Hestand said the facility would only be open to Woodford County residents, which could include male baseball players and teams wanting to use the batting cage.

Versailles-Woodford County Parks and Recreation Director Rich Pictor said his department’s board of directors had unanimously approved the plan, which would have to be approved by the court.

Magistrate Ken Reed (Dist. 4) asked if the group would pay for liability insurance for the facility, to which he was told “yes.” Magistrate Mary Ann Gill (Dist. 7) said the deal would need to include language saying that if the KYSF stops using the facility, the building would belong to the county. She also said parking issues need to be addressed.

County Attorney Alan George said a property survey would need to be paid for by KYSF, but didn’t see a downside to a lease deal for the building.

Pictor said the Parks Board had discussed an indoor facility for some time, and this was the first time in his 16 years with the department that a group had offered to construct it themselves if they had a location for it.

Judge-Executive John Coyle said a vote on the deal was possible at the next court meeting, which is Feb. 13.

EDA news

Economic Development Authority Chair John Soper told the court his contract to provide economic development consulting services expires Feb. 1, and that he’d be happy to sign a one-year renewal. (Soper is unpaid for his work as EDA chair, but has a contract with the cities and the county for his expertise.) A motion to that effect passed unanimously. Soper is paid $5,720 a month, with the city of Versailles paying 50 percent, the city of Midway 15 percent, and the county 35 percent. Soper said he’d recently been to Lakeshore Learning Materials at Midway Station and that the company has two full-time shifts on the job with 90 employees, not counting office staff and management. He said the company will need 45 more workers by the end of March.

He also discussed U-Haul’s recent purchase of the old Kroger shopping center, saying the company intended to seek a variance from the Board of Adjustment. Magistrate Gerald Dotson (Dist. 5) asked if the property, presently zoned B-4 (professional office), wouldn’t instead need a zone change to I-1 (industrial). Soper said he wasn’t an expert but had learned that U-Haul has bought other properties before seeking such changes.

Dotson said he thought the company obviously didn’t do their due diligence.

Jouett House director resigns

Coyle said Jack Jouett House Executive Jill Roseberry had submitted a letter of resignation and received the court’s unanimous approval to have the Personnel Committee review the job description. Roseberry, who did not attend the meeting, has held the job since April 2016. Roads Department heating/cooling

Roads Engineer Buan Smith received the court’s permission to seek quotes for a new HVAC unit for his department’s building. He said the present system had failed and the building was now using emergency heat, which might not be enough in extremely cold weather.

Smith said he’d received one quote from Semones Heating and Air and revealed the figure to the court. He later asked The Sun not to publish the quote because he still had more quotes to gather. Smith said he had money in his budget to pay for the new equipment.

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