• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

EDA discusses Midway Station ‘connections,’ zone change

The Woodford County Economic Development Authority (EDA) will submit a letter to the Midway City Council and Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Planning Commission stating the desire of the Homer Michael Freeny Trust to connect the Freeny property to Midway Station.

“He’s (Freeny) willing to donate some land that borders Elkhorn Creek, and that’s not part of the 137 acres (which the Freeny Trust gave the EDA an option to sell), but… he’d like to give access through Midway Station to his property. And then… the property he would donate to the city of Midway (could be used for) a park or for some sort of recreation facility that would have access to Midway Station,” EDA Chair John Soper said.

Soper suggested a motion for a joint letter to the Midway City Council that would link Freeny’s request to a pending zone change on 72 acres at Midway Station controlled by developer Dennis Anderson from residential to industrial. The Planning Commission has already recommended the zone change, but final approval is up to the Midway City Council.

“In my opinion, the benefit of connecting the Freeny property is we bring the possibility of a park back on the table, and I think the reality of it is that it’s going to take potential payroll tax dollars from the Freeny property to help Midway someday cover the cost of putting the final cap of blacktop on these roads,” Soper said.

The motion passed 5 to 0. Member Gene Hornback was absent.

Soper said the EDA would resubmit a zone change request to the Technical Review Committee, adding a development plan showing at least one building on land belonging to the Freeny Trust. At the group’s last meeting, the EDA unanimously supported a zone change for the 137-acre tract next to Midway Station from agricultural to light industrial. Soper said the EDA will work with the state to find buyers and will not attempt to compete with Anderson.

Friday, Soper said he’d spoken about the matter with Freeny, EDA attorney Bill Moore and Pattie Wilson, director of the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Planning Commission. Soper said the survey needs to include contours (which Wilson said could be obtained by GIS) and utility layouts. The TRC meeting is scheduled for Oct. 8.

EDA member William Downey pointed out the Midway City Council doesn’t have to accept the EDA’s recommendation linking the Anderson zone change to the Freeny request.

Midway Station study

Members voted unanimously in support of a motion to pay HMB Professional Engineers, which does work for the EDA and the City of Midway, up to $2,000 for a report on “deferred maintenance” at Midway Station.

“Now that it’s obvious that these roads aren’t going to come out and be redone, then I think we’ve got to look at the condition of the roads as they exist now,” Soper said. “We’ve got a real water problem (in the southeast corner). The drains are stopped up, and if you look throughout Midway Station, it’s overgrown in certain areas and the drains and so forth…”

Soper said some work needs to be done to protect existing infrastructure before the city approves the zone change. The HMB study would not include putting cameras in the sewer system, he said. Soper said he believed fixing the problems was Anderson’s responsibility, because he controls the property, though Soper thought there may be a gray area there.

“Either way, I think us as a board need to understand what the problems are, so that we can bring the problems to the table and make sure the City of Midway understands what’s in front of them,” Soper said.

New member Michael Michalisin called the idea a good use of EDA funds.

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