Church, day care center planned for Midway Station
If all goes according to plan, Midway will have a long-anticipated day care center in its own backyard. The proposal was unveiled at the monthly meeting of the Woodford County Economic Development Authority (EDA) on Friday, April 19, by EDA Chair John Soper. Soper said The Journey Ministries, a Frankfort-based church, has signed a contract with the EDA to purchase 6.128 acres at Midway Station for a church seating up to 400 and an “educationally-based child care center.” Other possibilities include a coffee shop, donut shop and “other entrepreneurial opportunities,” according to a statement by church Pastor Gary Brown. “They wanted to be, A, visible, B, where they had services that brought people into the building and they’ll work on the church membership after that,” Soper said. Soper said 70 jobs will be created within two to three years after the closing, exceeding the EDA’s goal for Midway Station of at least 10 jobs per acre. Another benefit for present and future tenants will be an everyday presence by church members and employees, Soper said. The EDA voted unanimously in favor of a motion to retroactively approve the consolidation of three lots for the church property, as well as a motion to approve the sale for $300,000. No tax incentives are involved in the deal, Soper said. Midway Mayor Grayson Vandegrift thanked members of the EDA for their work in bringing the church and day care center to the industrial park. “I don’t think I can overstate how important this day care can be for our city,” Vandegrift said. After the meeting, Soper told the Sun that if the requested zone change and conditional use permits are approved, the sale could be finalized by June 1. Construction on the facility could take one to two years, he said. The Journey Ministries is not affiliated with Woodford County’s Journey Church. Child psychiatric center Judge-Executive James Kay also had big news regarding Midway Station: near the end of the meeting, he announced that a company with pediatric psychiatric centers in Elizabethtown and Benton (Marshall County) is considering opening a facility there. The company is also looking at Versailles, he said. Kay said the facility would serve children and teens with mental health issues on an in- and outpatient basis. Frontier Nursing University’s mental health degree programs help make Woodford County a good fit for the center, he said. The facility in Benton is known as the Purchase Youth Village. (Purchase is the name of that region.) Kay said school board members Ambrose Wilson and Sherri Springate visited the Benton facility to evaluate it and discuss its needs for teachers, should they come here. The clinic would have 48 beds, a potential of 70 jobs and would accept Medicaid, he said. “Everything that I’ve seen and everything that I know (suggests) this is a really great opportunity …” Kay said. “We just want to land them somewhere (in Woodford County),” Soper said. Early in the meeting, Soper spoke of further progress at Midway Station. “We’ve got three contracts in process, a fourth one hopefully, if we approve this one today (The Journey Ministries). I’m hoping that we can get at least one closed prior to July 1 so that we can service our debt (on Midway Station). If not, then I think we can ask the city (of Midway) and the county to pay it and then possibly be in position to reimburse them,” he said. “I think we (the EDA) are finally getting in a position to be self-sufficient …” Soper said. The EDA also unanimously approved creating a lot at 775 McKinney Avenue for Imperial Paving. A close on the sale of the land is possible by July 1, Soper said. Ledvance Soper said he was optimistic about luring a new tenant to the Ledvance complex. Ledvance (formerly Osram-Sylvania) is expected to cease operations at its lamp plant, which employs about 260 workers, by the end of September. Speaking of a company considering a move here, Soper said, “We kind of know the number of jobs, we kind of know the initial investment, but we don’t know the name of the company. …” Rail access also makes the site desirable, Soper said. Bills The EDA unanimously approved paying the following bills: $253 to EDA attorney Bill Moore; $685 to the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Planning Commission for a zone change and $660 for the consolidation of the lots for The Journey Ministries; $742 to Darrell Young for a second “For Sale” sign at Midway Station and $175 per sign for up to three zone change request signs; $982 to reimburse Soper for lodging and travel to the Bluegrass Alliance Economic Development conference in Chicago.