• John McGary, Woodford Sun News Editor

Holloway named Midway citizen of year


For his history of volunteer work leading efforts to improve and expand Walter Bradley Park, John Holloway was named 2017 Midway Citizen of the Year at Monday’s Midway City Council meeting.

The proclamation read, in part, “John Holloway can be found most days toiling somewhere on the grounds, leading the efforts of many towards the reformation of Walter Bradley Park, where he and other dedicated volunteers have created new walking trails; improved and maintained existing ones; reclaimed parts that were overrun with invasive species; planted native trees, bushes, and grasses; added new features; and built a figurative bridge between two parts of the city, as well as a literal one that now spans Lee’s Branch …”

The proclamation noted that Holloway has contributed his expertise and labor for nothing other than “the betterment of Midway’s natural beauty, and for the enjoyment and recreation of all those who make memories there.”

The award was presented after Holloway gave a 20-minute report on two dozen or so improvements made to the park over the last year-and-a-half. They include new kiosks with park maps, brush-clearing, solar lights, a wide variety of trees planted, a new entrance to the dog park and the cleaning of the old spring.

Holloway was appointed chair of the Midway Parks Board and has also led efforts to expand the Friends of Walter Bradley Park citizens group, which continues to grow, he said. Holloway said about $3,800 of the $17,000 appropriated last July by the city council for parks improvements remains. Mayor Grayson Vandegrift said he will suggest another $17,000 in this year’s budget for parks improvement.

After reading the proclamation, Vandegrift presented Holloway with a railroad lamp made in 1925 and said Holloway has “been the guiding light” in the effort to improve the city park.

Workshops

Vandegrift said he would schedule work sessions during the next few weeks for the fiscal year 2019 budget, a blighted properties ordinance and an effort to bring high-speed broadband internet to the city.

He said work on his proposed budget, which will be examined during the sessions, was nearly finished.

Last year’s attempt to craft a blighted property ordinance was not met with “a whole lot of consensus” by the council, Vandegrift said. The chief roadblock seemed to be whether to establish a code enforcement board or have a council committee make such decisions.

Discussions over how to bring high-speed broadband internet to the city were in the “very, very early” stage, Vandegrift said. Earlier in the day, he’d met with a Midway project management firm that has worked in Lexington and other cities to begin that process.

“I want to schedule a work session in the next couple of weeks … where they’ll come and kind of give you the same spiel they gave me today, and just talk about what it might take and might cost …” Vandegrift said. “We’re talking about building infrastructure that will last 50 years, so it isn’t going to be an overnight thing.”

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