• John McGary, Woodford Sun News Editor

EDA discusses Industry Day, Midway Station

The Woodford Economic Development Authority’s monthly meeting last Friday, Jan. 25, featured an addition to the lineup of businesses for the 3rd annual Industry Day and a discussion of activities at Midway Station.

Chair John Soper said Lakeshore Learning Materials will join five other county industries for the March 12 event, which gives high school seniors a chance to tour two of six major employers in the county. This year, each of the six (Ruggles Sign, Quad Graphics, Yokohama, More Than A Bakery and NSG Pilkington are returning) will pay $300 to help pay for lunch, transportation and door prizes. Leftover funds will be used for next year’s event.

Lakeshore Learning Materials takes the place of Ledvance, which is closing next fall. Soper said Lakeshore brass are particularly interested in showing off the plant to young people who may be good fits for the company’s evening part-time jobs, which feature attendance bonuses.

A chief goal of Industry Day is to allow high school students to get a feel for the many good-paying jobs available at local manufacturing plants. Some of them will go off to college, then return home to work – perhaps at a local industrial plant – and buy homes, Soper said.

Midway Station

Soper received the EDA’s unanimous approval to sign the deed and closing papers on a pending sale of a 3.3-acre tract at Midway Station to a business that would employ at least 20 people. He described the unnamed business as an “owner-occupied, contractor-type” that will eventually employ 30.

Soper said another company had considered the property, but had concerns over deferred maintenance issues at the site. Developer Dennis Anderson has an option to purchase and sell land at Midway Station, and in return he pays the interest on the industrial park’s debt. Soper said he believes the maintenance issue is something that should be worked out between the new business and Anderson.

“We’re certainly not in a position to make any assurances on it,” he said.

Major developments are expected in the near future for the 137-acre Homer Freeny Jr. Trust property adjacent to the industrial park. An annexation by the City of Midway and zone change request to the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Planning Commission are in the works. (Ultimately, the Midway City Council will decide on the zone change.)

“Of course, the whole world – our budget – could change if (Anderson) decides to walk away from it, then we’ll have to regroup and figure out how we’re going to pay the interest on that option …” Soper said. He prefaced that remark by saying he would reduce the EDA’s funding request of local governments by 20 percent, or $3,000.

Members of the EDA are not paid for their work.

The group also unanimously supported Soper’s plan for a company to provide free geotechnical services on the Freeny property. Soper said Terracon of Louisville made the offer to him at a recent conference and would do the work using database information gathered from a property survey as well as government and other websites. EDA member Gene Hornback said the proposal sounded good – and was free.

The group also unanimously approved a resolution allowing member Mike Coleman to serve as acting secretary in the absence of member Paul Schreffler to sign documents concerning the 670 McKinney Avenue lot. Schreffler was absent due to a new grandbaby, Soper said. Executive session

The EDA went into executive session to discuss potential land purchases and sales. Midway Mayor Grayson Vandegrift, Judge-Executive James Kay, and Planning Director Pattie Wilson took part in the session. No action was taken afterward.

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