Vandegrift presents proposed budget
The Midway City Council got a first look Monday at Mayor Grayson Vandegrift’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2021, which begins July 1. Vandegrift said budget workshops, in which the council can weigh in on the city’s spending and revenue, will begin in the next few weeks. Vandegrift said his proposal would leave the city with a balance of $901,591, despite spending $93,333 for the third year of payments on the natural gas line to Midway Station that was necessary to lure Lakeshore Learning Materials to the industrial park. He also took aim at an unnamed magistrate he said had criticized the city for not paying its fair share, saying the county was not paying for the gas line. (The state’s share of the cost for the line for fiscal ’21 is $280,000.) “This spending this year would dig into the surplus a little bit less than $200,000, and the majority of that is to go towards the sewer line project we’ve been talking about, which I have taken down to $150,000, partly because we’ve already done the camera work …” Vandegrift said. (The camera work is done via a remote camera inside the sewer lines.) After the meeting, Vandegrift fielded questions on his budget, saying “every single one” of the revenue projections that were higher than the present year’s were related to stronger-than-forecasted yields. Asked about expected large increases in business licensing and alcohol fees, he said some of that is based on what he thinks will happen and the rest on what’s already happening. “We now have, for the first time that I can ever remember, six restaurants downtown, all of which sell alcohol … and then you have the possibility of new ownership in the Midway Corner Grocery – they may or may not start selling alcohol …” he said. Asked whether a healthy surplus could lead to tax cuts, Vandegrift said that was possible, and that the already-lowered property tax could be a target again. CDs In other budget-related news, Vandegrift said that the city’s three certificates of deposit, worth a total of $289,982, will mature this year: Kentucky Bank at $131,026.28 on Feb. 25, Community Trust Bank at $98,222.25 next month, and Limestone Bank at $60,734.17 in July. He appointed an ad hoc committee chaired by Councilmember Logan Nance and including Councilmembers Sara Hicks and John Holloway to study what to do with the money in the CDs, which have a low yield, but are safe. Events The council unanimously approved permits for two new events: A Race Rise 5-K on May 9 that will benefit a nonprofit veterans’ group and a Family Festival for May 30 at the quarry in Walter Bradley Park. Cecilia Goss, who chairs the Midway Parks Board, said the latter will feature live music, a food truck, hula hooping and a free raffle for 10 indoor garden kits. She said the event is designed to be environmentally friendly, with a goal of creating just one cubic feet of waste that can’t be recycled. Procurement The council held a first reading for an ordinance updating the city’s policy on procurements, which Vandegrift said hadn’t been done since the 1980s.