• John McGary, Woodford Sun Editor

EDA moves forward on Lakeshore, barrel warehouse property

The Woodford Economic Development Authority’s (EDA) monthly meeting Friday, Oct. 25, began and ended with news involving land adjacent to Midway Station. Chair John Soper said Lakeshore Learning Materials had purchased property owned by the Homer Freeny Jr. Trust on which it will build its new distribution center, which will eventually employ 100. The company would likely ask for a grading permit later that day, he said. The EDA unanimously approved participating in a deed of easement between Lakeshore Warehouse East, the City of Midway and Mike Freeny (the owner of the Freeny Trust). “Basically, what we’re doing is gaining an access from McKinney Avenue up to the water tower, and then eventually, Mr. Freeny will give us access to the water tower from behind,” Soper said. Another motion approving a deed to the water tower tract also passed unanimously. At the end of the meeting, members emerged from an executive session and voted unanimously to enter into a purchase agreement for 22 acres of the Roach property next to American Howa Kentucky. A little more than 10 acres of that land could be sold to White Dog Trading and Storage, LLC, whose owner, Mark Harris, wants to build two independent barrel warehouses. Soper said if the deal happened and each warehouse was full, barrel taxes generated there would eventually bring in well over $100,000 annually for the public school system. New Versailles employer? Good news for Versailles also emerged from the executive session, as members voted unanimously to pursue a community development block grant to buy equipment for a business seeking to locate in an existing building downtown. Revenues from the unnamed company would be used to pay back the EDA over 10 years, which would then open a revolving fund used to recruit other businesses to Versailles. Corporate headquarters on Freeny farm? Soper praised EDA member Michael Michalisin, whom he said “was always looking for opportunities for us” and had put him in touch with someone affiliated with a “good-sized” company looking for a corporate headquarters. Soper said he showed the man some of the Freeny farm on the other side of the Brown Forman barrel warehouses. U-Haul Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott briefed the EDA on the latest developments involving U-Haul, which is located in the old Kroger shopping center. He said he’d changed his mind about a text amendment that would allow the company to have indoor storage in the old K-Mart building in exchange for “certain conditions” being met – chiefly, that the company would find a tenant for the old Kroger building, which has been vacant since July 2015. “I didn’t feel that their end of the bargain was as solid as our end of the bargain. Obviously, an ordinance change, that’s pretty solid. So we’ve backed off that. Hopefully, they will sell the property (the entire Lexington Road Plaza) …” he said. Soper pointed out that it was unusual for a company to buy a property when the principal use for it – in this case, indoor storage – was not allowed.

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