• By Vanessa Seitz

Midway News and Views

Midway News Frozen Rails 5K and 10K Runners enjoyed a seasonably warm day to kick off the New Year with the 4th annual Frozen Rails 5K and 10K. The top Midway-based 5K finisher out of 19 was Pete Fisher, 55, who finished in 24:04; 13-year-told Chase Thurman finished with a time of 25:52; John Lyttle, 62, finished the 5K in 26:40 and the fastest female 5K finisher was Northside School’s librarian and media specialist, Melinda Caldwell, 45, who finished with a time of 8:26. There were only six keen Midway runners in the 10K. Aaron McIntosh, 45, was the fastest Midway-based runner with a finish time of 51:24, and the fastest female was Stacy Thurman, 41, of the Midway Branch Library, who finished the race in 54.45. Midway Views An interview with Grayson Vandegrift, Mayor of Midway Part 1 New Year is often a time to reflect on the year that is passed and to look ahead to the coming year. That’s exactly what Mayor Grayson Vandegrift and I did this past weekend at City Hall. As our town of Midway awoke on that Saturday morning, the stores opened, and our hometown got ready to greet locals and visitors on the first weekend of 2020. The first item on the agenda for Vandegrift is the Midway sewer project. He explained that there have been issues with the main trunk line documented as far back as 1997. “It is time to take care of this,” emphasized Vandegrift. “At Smith Street, at Second Christian Church, where the line meets Stephens Street. the manhole there floods. This is one of four visible manholes in town that floods, for a number of reasons. It is mainly after a heavy rain with excess water in the sewer line, but also due to sump pumps in the older homes there that were hooked to the sewer system. Replacing that line and sorting out the flooding issue is the first project,” said Vandegrift. The second project, Vandegrift explained, was to complete work on the trunk line from Brand Street that wraps around through the park to Winter Street and eventually to the sewer plant on Leestown Road. The plan, Vandegrift said, was to use Cured In Place Pipe (CIPP), a process by which cameras in the line find holes and cracks where leaks are occurring. CIPP involves inserting and running a liner into a preexisting pipe to repair the pipe. Resin within the liner is then exposed to a curing element to make it attach to the inner walls of the pipe. Once fully cured, the lining now acts as a new leak proof pipeline. According to CIPP Corp.’s website, this provides an affordable, long-term solution to aging sewer, water and industrial pipelines. Cured-in-place materials seamlessly mold to the host pipe, preventing infiltration and exfiltration, restoring the structural integrity of the pipeline, and eliminating weakening joints. CIPP says that cured-in-place pipeline makes a much smoother surface than concrete and clay pipe, which increases the flow capacity. Additionally, cured-in-place pipeline is installed using trenchless technology, eliminating costly and time-consuming excavation. One problem area that Vandegrift mentioned is some leakage from the current sewage line into the creek at Lee’s Branch. “The sewage project will eliminate that, it will eliminate overflow onto Smith Street and will alleviate the flooding issue at Southern Equine Farm in that front field where it often floods after heavy rains and sewer overflow,” he said. Vandegrift estimates the sewer project will cost about $200,000 and possibly less, and that CIPP is very effective for the price. These funds will come from the General Fund because it is a capital expense. Vandegift estimates that the work will begin around July 1, when the new fiscal year begins, and the hope is to finish the project in late fall. Next on Vandegrift’s agenda is a continuation of 2019’s sidewalk rehab project. Several homeowners took advantage of this cost-sharing project last year and Vandegrift hopes to extend this project to other homeowners this year. “Payment plans are available; most sidewalks in town last year cost less than $4,000 to repair, with the city paying half of the homeowners’ costs,” explained Vandegrift. “Gratz Street and some of the city streets more used by walkers and pedestrians may be the focus for this year.” Vandegrift estimates that the sidewalk rehab work will be done mainly over the summer and second half of 2020. Homeowners are able to contact City Hall now for applications for the sidewalk rehab project. The third main issue Vandegrift hopes to get a handle on this year is blighted property. He expressed frustration at hoping to get the ball rolling on this over two years ago, but ran into problems with the then-city council. “Libby Warfield, who has since passed away, was a big proponent of the blighted property ordinance,” said Vandegrift. “There are essentially two ordinances that need to get passed. The first is a nuisance ordinance for the blighted property – is it a nuisance, a blighted property or an abandoned property. The second is a code enforcement board.” Both ordinances were passed by the council Monday. “Any citizen can file a complaint or petition on a property. Once the complaint is filed, a Code Enforcement Officer goes to the property and determines what needs to be done to bring the property to code,” explained Vandegrift. “If a recommendation is made and the property owner declines to do the work, the complaint goes to the code enforcement board,” said Vandegrift. Board members cannot be elected officials and must live within city limits or own property within city limits. The board then deems the best course of action, although the property owner can still appeal the decision in Woodford Circuit Court. “The blighted property ordinance is essential,” Vandegrift explained, “As far as protecting house values, protecting renters, and for safety issues too, with unstable or unsafe structures. It will help to preserve home values and stop the spread of blight.” Vandegrift also hopes to continue road paving projects. “Stephens Street was done in 2019 and looks great. The painted edge lines and center lines there have done a great job in slowing traffic down. It will be a $200,000 project in that area, including the storm sewer work that will be done in 2020, and the paving, painting and curbs that were done last year.” Anyone needing to contact Vandegrift can reach him via email at mayorgrayson@meetmeinmiday.com or call city hall at (859) 846-4413 or call him at (859) 361-6320. Vandegrift also encourages interested Midway residents to attend the City Council meetings, which are held on the first and third Mondays of the month at 5.30 p.m. Part 2 next week.

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