• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Commission approves Bluegrass Distillers plan

A plan to open a distillery on West Leestown Road, north of Midway, was

approved by the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Planning Commission

Feb. 11.

Sam Rock, co-owner of Bluegrass Distillers, said during a previous

public hearing that a historic residence on the property known as

Elkwood Farm would be used as a tasting room. He said existing barns and

new structures would be used in the distillery operation, which will

allow visitors to see the entire process, from growing corn on the farm

to distilling and housing the bourbon whiskey in barrel warehouses.

The property at 158 West Leestown Road, which was owned by the Mitchell

family since the late-1930s, is split-zoned with 20.5 acres agriculture

and 41.5 acres light industrial.

After the commission unanimously approved the plan, Rock gave two thumbs

up during the virtual meeting on the Zoom online platform. Commissioner

Chantel Bingham was not present.

Kain Ford plan approved

The commission approved an amended development plan that allows the Jack

Kain Ford car dealership on Lexington Road to construct a new

9,910-square-foot service bay and a smaller service bay for oil changes.

Prior to the approval, Commissioner Tim Parrott asked about a landscape

buffer that requires 27 trees to be planted along the Huntertown Road

side of the property. He said the buffer would provide relief to

neighboring residents if it’s required with this approval.

Project engineer John Hunt agreed the commission has the right to

enforce the buffer requirement with this amended plan.

Hunt said the planned expansion will direct lights downward in a new

parking lot. Neighboring residents have voiced concerns about the

dealership’s lighting in the past, Parrott said.

Warehouse plan approved

An amended development plan for a warehouse and office building at the

entrance of the Midway Station industrial park was unanimously approved.

The revised plan increases the size of the office and a guard house. A

storage building and a small parking area were also added, Planning

Director Pattie Wilson told the commission.

She noted White Dog Trading and Storage, LLC, the owner of the property

at 167 McKinney Drive, will need to come back to the commission before

moving forward with subsequent phases of the project.

Three more warehouses, which will store bourbon whiskey, are planned for

the site. In addressing concern about the appearance of the property

located at an entry to Midway Station, project engineer Matt Carter told

the commission that the first warehouse is built and has a stone wrap

around its base. And when the office is built “it’s going to be really

nice,” he said.

In other action, the commission approved a development plan that allows

CSI Group to build a new facility related to RV services at 930 McKinney

Avenue in Midway Station.

2021-22 budget

The commission approved a proposed budget for 2021-22 that decreases

requested funding from the local governments. Funding requests will

decrease from $133,325 to $112,371 for the City of Versailles and

Woodford County, and from $33,332 to $28,092 for the City of Midway.

The budget also includes a proposed 3 percent pay raise for the

commission’s staff.

There were no raises last year and “if we add the two cost of living

(increases) from this year and last year, we get to roughly 3 percent

and that seemed reasonable to us,” said Commissioner Rich Schein. He

chairs the committee that recommended the proposed 2021-22 budget to the

full commission.

The Midway and Versailles city councils and Woodford Fiscal Court must

approve the commission’s proposed $565,084 budget for next fiscal year.

If approved, the budget expenditure for health insurance will increase

from $32,256 in 2020-21 to $58,829 in 2021-22, with building inspector

Josh Stevens adding his family and Wilson adding her husband to their plans.

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