Vandegrift: lower sewer rates soon
Mayor Grayson Vandegrift told the Midway City Council Monday that sewer rates could be lowered by at least 25 percent within a matter of months.
The move is possible primarily because of last month’s retirement of the debt on the old sewer plant and increased payroll tax revenue, which has doubled in the last four years, Vandegrift said.
A motion to cash in a Community Trust Bank certificate of deposit worth $285,490 and use $196,885 to pay off the remaining debt on the new plant passed 5 to 0. (Council Member Sara Hicks was absent.) The remaining $88,000 will be rolled back into a new CD at the bank.
Vandegrift said the loaning agency, the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority, has assured the city that service charges for early payoff will be minimal.
In a July 11 letter to the council, Vandegrift wrote, “By paying this loan off early, we will not only save money we are currently paying in interest, we will also generate approximately $9,000 per month in sewer revenue.”
“Any time we can avoid paying interest, it’s a good thing,” Council Member Bruce Southworth said. Vandegrift said a sewer rate cut of at least 25 percent could be possible within three months. It would require a vote of the council.
“Some people said, ‘I thought I’d never see this day,’” Vandegrift said of the payoffs on the two sewer plants.
Lexington School bonds
Representatives of the Lexington School and a Louisville law firm asked the council to consider issuing $5 million in municipal bonds on behalf of the private school, which last year had 13 students and 19 staffers from Woodford County.
Bond attorney Christian Juckett said the issuance, which the city did in 2016 for another private school in Lexington, will allow the school to obtain more favorable rates than those offered by traditional loans. Juckett said the city would not be at risk.
Lexington School Development Director Amanda Hale said the loan will allow the school to expand its’ “One School Project” and build a new learning center for children with learning differences.
No council members expressed opposition to the proposal, which would leave the city able to issue $5 million more in municipal bonds for fiscal year 2019. Lexington School representatives could return with an official proposal at the council’s Aug. 6 meeting.
Richard “Buzzy” Jones appeared before the council during the citizens comments portion of the meeting to discuss speeding on U.S. 62, where he lives about a quarter mile past the Midway Corner Grocery.
Jones, who said he moved to the area last November, said that stretch of road, with no sidewalks, was like the Indianapolis 500. Vandegrift said the city’s portable radar sign, which shows the speed of approaching drivers and records traffic data, can be moved to the area. He said he’d also speak to Versailles Assistant Police Chief Mike Murray about the problem.
The council unanimously approved the closure of the north side of Main Street from 5:30 to 10 p.m. for the final two Midsummer Nights in Midway block parties on Friday, July 27, and Friday, Aug. 24.
Vandegrift said closing the street for safety’s sake worked well for the June 29 event.