• Story and photos by John McGary

Court holds line on property tax rates

Woodford Fiscal Court voted unanimously Tuesday to hold a first reading of an ordinance maintaining property tax rates at 7 cents per $100 of assessed value for real estate, 2.5 cents for bank deposits, and 9.4 cents for motor vehicles and watercraft. The ordinance rates the total value of all real property (real estate) to be $2,362,636,092 and real estate for public companies to be $18,208,274 as of Jan. 1. Other assessments by the state Department for Local Government include $123,096,543 for distilled spirits, $237,982,167 for motor vehicles, and $5,292,999 for watercraft. In another tax-related development later in the meeting, Judge-Executive James Kay prefaced his nomination of Jennifer Sullivan to another four-year term on the Woodford County Public Library Board of Trustees by saying she’d told him she would not vote to increase library taxing district rates. The nomination was approved 8-0. The library board is expected to set 2019 rates next month, and board president Gerald Wuetcher has indicated his support for maintaining present rates. (See story on front page.) Hospital lease, bid The court voted unanimously to approve a lease agreement with Bluegrass Community Hospital allowing the EMS department to work out of the hospital while a new EMS building is constructed on the site of the present one on Big Sink Pike. The cost will be $531.13 per month and the lease runs through June 30, 2020. Either side can withdraw from the agreement with 30 days notice. The court unanimously approved a $74,821 bid by Vermeer Heartland for a new 18-inch brush chipper. The bid sheet came with a note saying Road Supervisor Bo Wilson recommended the Vermeer bid, which was more than $19,000 higher than one from Encon Equipment, based on pricing and bid specifications. The Vermeer chipper has a 173-horsepower John Deere diesel engine, while the Encon chipper has a 165-horsepower GM gasoline engine. 911 advisory board Kay’s recommendation that a 911 advisory board be created with nominees from the county and two cities was approved unanimously. Versailles Police Chief Mike Murray will chair the group, and Kay said he and the two mayors will appoint first responders to serve on it. Kay noted that Midway is presently not represented in 911 discussions, and said the board will help bring Midway to the table. One of the challenges of the board and the governmental entities will be to find new funding for the 911 system while the telephone landline taxes used to pay for it continue to decline. Huntertown Road sidewalk Magistrate Mary Ann Gill (Dist. 7) asked the court to give Kay the go-ahead to sign a project development checklist for the Huntertown Road sidewalk, which she has worked on for more than four years. A motion to that effect passed unanimously, as did one giving the court the go-ahead to advertise for bids on the project. Kay said he, Gill and other county officials had met earlier in the day with city and state officials and believed all were on the same page regarding the sidewalk. Joint meeting Aug. 13 Kay announced what he said would be the first joint meeting of the court and two city councils, which will take place at the Kentucky Community and Technical College System headquarters Aug. 13 after a brief court meeting there. On the agenda are two non-controversial items involving very different demographics: the designation of the county, in conjunction with the AARP, as “age-friendly,” and the formation of a Woodford County Youth Council. Appointment Another nomination of Kay’s was also approved unanimously. Libby Turley will serve a four-year term on the Woodford Human Rights Commission. Sheriff’s fees An ordinance raising sheriff’s fees for serving subpoenas and summons from $50 to $60 passed unanimously. Gormley The meeting began with Kay asking for a moment of silence for the late Mark Gormley, who served as county attorney for 20 years. At the end of the meeting, County Attorney Alan George said that Gormley gave him his start, and that neither he nor Assistant County Attorney Phyllis Mattingly would be sitting there were if not for Gormley.

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