Council doubles sidewalk cost-sharing limit
The Midway City Council voted 3 to 1 Monday (with Council Member Kaye Nita Gallagher abstaining) to double the city’s match for property owners taking part in the council’s sidewalk repair program. Gallagher abstained because she’s one of the 11 property owners who’ve signed up for the match, which will now see the city pay up to $2,000 per sidewalk. Council Member John Holloway cast the no vote. Council Member Sara Hicks was absent. The council didn’t spend the $15,000 set aside for the 50-50 matching deal last fiscal year and budgeted the same amount for fiscal 2020, which began Monday. Mayor Grayson Vandegrift said he believed doubling the maximum match would reflect the original intent of the program, and that not doing so might lead to property owners whose sidewalks are not in bad disrepair dropping out. Holloway said he thought it was fine if the property owners decided to pay all the cost themselves. Council Member Bruce Southworth said if the money was there, the council should vote yes. Council Member Kaye Nita Gallagher said if there was money left over, the council could reopen the program. She also asked Vandegrift whether the contractor would work around the trees next to the post office. Vandegrift said he believed they would. The properties are: 129 West Main Street, 115 West Main Street, 122 West Main Street, 207 North Turner Street, 101 North Winter Street, 105 South Winter Street, 128 South Winter Street, 323 South Winter Street, 115 E. Stephens Street, 216 South Gratz Street and 200 South Gratz Street. The council also voted 5 to 0 to approve the low bid of $39,790 from ADE Contracting of Lawrenceburg. Vandegrift said the city will pay the company to do the work, then submit invoices to the property owners. ADE’s most expensive estimate is $8,800 for 105 South Winter Street. Surplus house The council voted 5 to 0 to declare the city-owned house and lot at 426 South Winter Street that was once the Midway Free Library surplus property after considerable debate over whether the sealed bid process would fetch the highest price. Holloway said the council should explore putting it up for sale, like a private homeowner, and release the appraisal figures. Vandegrift disagreed with the appraisal suggestion, and City Attorney Phil Moloney said it needed to be sold via sealed bid. Holloway said the process didn’t seem terribly logical to him, to which Gallagher said, “Welcome to government.” Council Member Stacy Thurman, the manager of the Midway Branch Library, asked jokingly if the deal could be structured so that the multi-color “READ” sign on the building would be kept. Makers Market The council voted 5 to 0 to issue a civic event permit to the Midway Merchants Association for a new event on Friday, Aug. 8, called “Makers Market.” Organizers plan to show a movie in the courtyard by Damselfly and have artists and food and beer vendors. Also, organizers of the Midway Fall Festival asked the council’s permission to reroute the choo choo train for safety reasons. The new route will have the children’s train ride start at Dudley and Gratz streets for a round trip to Walter Bradley Jr. Park. Vandegrift said that’s the way they did it in the past. New city clerk/treasurer Vandegrift’s nomination of Cindy Foster as the new city clerk/treasurer was approved 5 to 0. He said she has more than 35 years of administrative and financial experience, including eight years as the clerk/treasurer for the City of Sadieville, and is also an experienced grant writer.