• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

Council moves forward on property tax cut

The Midway City Council held first readings on two property tax ordinances Monday night, including one that would cut property taxes on real estate by 7.1 percent. The ordinance would drop the tax rate for real estate from 7.5 cents to 7 cents per $100 of assessed value. The other ordinance receiving a first reading would maintain the tax rate for motor vehicles and watercraft at 7.5 cents. Street swap Casey Smith of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet appeared before the council with a gift in hand – a short stretch of what was once North Winter Street before the bypass was built. “This is essentially the state of Kentucky bequeathing a road that we’ve really been taking care of for a long time already …” said Mayor Grayson Vandegrift. “U.S. 62 used to go up North Winter Street and it was bypassed over to U.S. 421 (Leestown Road) and this has been an issue that the state has been dealing with – cleaning up all these official orders so that any of the roadways that do not serve a purpose in the Kentucky primary roadway system (are) actually given to the local entity …” Smith said. The resolution passed unanimously. The move clears the way for the city to sign a quitclaim deed to give a small piece of land near the Midway Corner Grocery to the grocery owners. Council Member Logan Nance jokingly asked Smith whether the state giving up control of the road would free up resources for more frequent mowing. Online bill paying Vandegrift said he wanted to move forward on a plan to allow city residents to pay their water and sewer bills online. He said while the move doesn’t require council approval, he wanted to hear their input on the proposal, which would allow customers to pay bills through the city’s website. Users would pay a 3 to 4 percent surcharge for the option, while customers who pay at City Hall or by mail would not be affected, he said. Nance said he was concerned about how quickly a $5 late fee is imposed. Council Member Bruce Southworth responded that he believed the late fee was an important incentive to pay bills on time. Council Member Kaye Nita Gallagher wondered if the “direct pay” option, in which the bills are automatically deducted from the bank accounts of those who signed up for the program, gave enough notice of extraordinarily high bills before late charges are added. A first reading on an ordinance establishing online bill paying is possible at the council’s next meeting, which will be held Tuesday, Sept. 3, because of the Labor Day holiday. Entertainment Destination Center The council discussed an ordinance that would establish a state-approved “entertainment destination center” area running the length of Main Street. Council members were given a draft of the ordinance, which does not include the proposed 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. hours in which a person could carry alcoholic beverages in the area. Another matter to be settled before the ordinance receives a first reading is whether standard cups will be required. Council Member John Holloway said anyone could write the name of a particular restaurant on a plastic cup. Nance and Council Member Bruce Southworth agreed that some people will find a way to bring their own alcohol. Gallagher suggested that since the city will pay the $2,800 fee to the state for establishing the district, restaurant owners could go in together and buy standard cups bearing the city’s slogan, “Meet Me in Midway.” Vandegrift asked council members to pass along their thoughts and said a first reading on an ordinance is possible at the next meeting. Putting the program in place before Keeneland’s fall meet is a priority, he said

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