• John McGary, Woodford Sun News Editor

Council holds first budget reading, Another budget workshop possible

The Midway City Council Monday heard first reading of its budget for fiscal year 2019, which begins July 1 – but may not be finished with the document yet.

After the reading, Council Member Bruce Southworth asked if the council could hold a second budget work session. Mayor Grayson Vandegrift appeared surprised by the request, telling the council that at the last meeting, he’d asked them to let him know if they wanted another work session.

After the meeting, Southworth told the Sun that he had some questions about park funding.

The following day, Vandegrift told the Sun that he’s not sure he’ll call a budget work session and that no council members asked for one after they received the agenda for the council meeting last Friday.

“If they want to be the people who vote against the only budget in the state of Kentucky that cuts (city) property taxes by 25 percent and increases investments, then so be it,” Vandegrift said.

Before Southworth’s request, Vandegrift announced that the second reading of the budget would be held at the council’s June 4 meeting.

If a budget work session produces substantial changes, another first reading might be necessary, pushing the second reading to the council’s last regular meeting before the new fiscal year begins.

Proposed spending in the budget includes $1,809,273 from the general fund, $36,540 from the special fund, $2,000 from the cemetery fund, $372,993 from the sewer fund and $660,950 from the water fund.

In another financial-related matter, the council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing up to $99,000 in short-term borrowing for fiscal 2019. Money borrowed under the terms must be repaid before June 30, 2019, and the interest rate must not exceed the average for commercial loans offered by Woodford County banks.

Vandegrift said the action was routine and a short-term loan would only be sought in an emergency.

Animal ordinance

The council did not object to Vandegrift’s suggestion that a second reading on an animal protection ordinance already passed by

Woodford Fiscal Court be tabled for further study. He said there might be “more overlap than we realize” between that ordinance and city animal-related laws already on the books.

“Our ordinances are more specific,” Vandegrift said.

Other matters:

Eagle Scout Eric Witt Jr. was honored by the council with a proclamation naming May 31 “Eric Gerard Witt Jr. Day” in the city. The proclamation noted that Witt completed a landscaping project at Lexington Catholic High School despite having rheumatoid arthritis. Witt was accompanied by his parents, Eric Witt Sr. and Kimberly Witt.

The council approved an event permit for the 2nd annual “Bourbon Country Burn” bicycle race, which takes place Sept. 28 from the Kentucky Horse Park to Midway and back. An organizer said 250 people took part in the event last year and he hopes that number will “about double” this year.

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