• John McGary, Woodford Sun News Editor

Council moves forward on budget, Asks BOA to reject U-Haul bid

The Versailles City Council Tuesday held first readings on the city’s budget for fiscal year 2019 and unanimously endorsed a resolution asking the Board of Adjustment to reject U-Haul International’s bid to bring storage units into the Lexington Road Plaza.

(See U-Haul story on this page for more on the company’s plans and the hurdles it must clear to put them in place.)

The new fiscal year begins July 1.

Budget

General fund:

• Revenues: $10,278,175

• Operating expenses: $10,009,330

• Capital expenses: $664,200

• Balance as of June 30, 2019: $3,956,185 (down $395,355)

Enterprise fund (water and sewer)

• Revenues: $20,272,000

• Operating expenses: $6,413,371

• Capital expenses: $12,072,100

• Balance as of June 30, 2019: $13,220,020 (up $1,786,529)

Road fund

• Revenues: $171,606

• Operating expenses: $300,000

• Balance as of June 30, 2019: $132,606 (down $128,394)

U-Haul

The council unanimously supported a resolution asking the Board of Adjustments to reject U-Haul International’s bid to bring storage units to the old Kroger.

The resolution praised the company’s willingness to invest in the city and endorses its plan to sell packing supplies in Lexington Road Plaza, which is zoned B-4 (highway business district). Other company plans are questioned, though.

“ … the rental of moving trucks is arguably an allowed use, although one could reasonably contend that the sale of motor vehicles differs in usage than this …”

“ … this government body contends that storage units are not an allowed use and are suited only in Industrially-zoned areas …”

“ … in an effort to preserve our planning and zoning ordinances, the Board of Adjustment should reject the notion that storage units are not of the same general character as permitted uses in the B-4 zone.”

The resolution carries no legal weight, but Mayor Brian Traugott, a former member of the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Planning Commission, said it was important that the council contribute to the public comments that will be reviewed by the BOA.

New sewer plant expenses

Despite a bit of grumbling from council members, the council voted unanimously to grant contractor GRW’s request for a change order of $287,496 for work on the ongoing sewer plant rehabilitation and expansion.

Council Member Ken Kerkhoff said he hated change orders, but believed the cost of installing a second mechanical bar screen would be less than fixing problems later that could also shut down the plant for a time.

Utilities Manager Mitzi Delius soothed feelings somewhat by noting that Phase 4 of the city’s sewer system rehabilitation came in $500,000 under budget.

Water bills

The council unanimously approved three ordinances reflecting an increase in the Kentucky River Authority’s withdrawal fee from 17 to 26 cents per 1,000 gallons. Traugott noted that the increases are pass-throughs and the city will receive no extra revenue from them. The ordinances cover customers inside and outside city limits and wholesalers of city water. Alcohol changes

The council heard first reading of an ordinance revamping the city’s rules and some of the fees charged for alcohol sales.

Among the proposed changes are two levels of fees charged for a “quote retail package license.” Stores larger than 2,750 square feet will pay the present fee of $500, while smaller stores will pay $250. Traugott said Kroger has the only liquor store in the city that fits the first category.

The cost of special temporary event licenses will drop from $100 to $10. Also, caterers from outside the city limits selling alcohol must apply for a business license annually.

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