• Webmaster Elisha

Council reverses course on U-Haul


T.A. RANKIN was unanimous confirmed by the Versailles City Council Tuesday as the city’s new fire chief. Rankin grew up in Woodford County and still lives here. (Photo submitted)

The Versailles City Council Monday unanimously passed a resolution that

could pave the way for U-Haul to offer indoor, climate-controlled

storage in the old Kmart building in the Lexington Road Plaza.

The resolution asks the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Planning and

Zoning Commission to research the matter, hold a public hearing and

recommend whether climate-controlled indoor storage facilities should be

added as a conditional use in highway business district (B-4)-zoned

properties.

The city council and U-Haul have been at odds over the issue since the

company purchased the property in 2017 and the question over whether to

allow the storage units there has been raised in several meetings. In

June 2018, the council unanimously endorsed a resolution asking the

Board of Adjustment to reject U-Haul’s bid to bring the storage units here.

The resolution included the statement, “ … Whereas, permanent economic

shifts have altered the retail industry …” After the meeting, Mayor

Brian Traugott said that sentence was related to the effects of the

pandemic on the retail industry, and that he thought some of the changes

would be permanent.

The council can choose to accept the planning commission’s

recommendation or hold its own hearings – ultimately, whether to make a

text amendment is its own decision.

Rankin new fire chief

The council unanimously confirmed Traugott’s nomination of T.A. Rankin

to be the city’s fire chief.

Traugott said Rankin, 35, a sergeant with the Frankfort Fire Department

and the chief deputy in the Woodford County coroner’s office, was born

and raised here and is a county resident. He’ll start the new job April

19 and acting Fire Chief Brandon Brown will be his assistant. Several

council members praised Brown for his service after taking over from

former Chief Brian Wainscott, and Traugott said Brown had served with

integrity and done a remarkable job.

Garmon asks for payroll tax refund

Woodford County Treasurer Sabra Garmon appeared before the council to

ask for a refund of the city payroll taxes withheld from her paycheck

since she began working from home during the pandemic. Garmon said her

request to the city tax administrator was denied and that she was there

to appeal.

Both the City of Versailles and Woodford County have 1.5 percent payroll

taxes.

City Attorney Bill Moore said Garmon was raising a very interesting

issue. He said an emergency order from Gov. Andy Beshear had led to many

people working from home. He said there were probably many Versailles

residents who work in Lexington, and the city has not tried to collect

those taxes and that the matter was an executive decision, not one for

the council. Councilmember Fred Siegelman asked if it was Moore’s

recommendation that the council take no action and Moore said yes.

No action was taken.

Pandemic relief update

Councilmember Laura Dake said Bluegrass Community Action, which

administers the city’s program designed to help people with delinquent

rent and utility bills, had distributed $47,721.57. Councilmember Lisa

Johnson said 131 of 142 people had successfully applied for assistance –

92 percent – and more than 358 individuals had been helped, which she

called awesome.

The council also unanimously approved a resolution to apply for up to

$200,000 in community development block grant funds from the federal

Housing and Urban Development Department. A required public hearing by

the council will be held Tuesday, April 20, at 5 p.m. and be hosted by

the Bluegrass Area Development District.

Public Works Director Bart Miller later said he’d learned of a new

pandemic assistance program – the Healthy At Home Eviction Relief Fund –

and that a link to it was on the city’s website: versailles.ky.gov.

Kubota grant

Traugott received the council’s unanimous go-ahead to apply for a

$100,000 grant from Kubota, which makes lawn, farm and construction

equipment. He said if the city wins, they could use the money to move

dirt and remove junk vegetation from the space between the Rose Hill

Avenue parking lot and Park Street.

Dake asked if the money could be used to pay for a portion of the design

work there and Traugott said he believed it could be piggy-backed with

the developer. Johnson said a small percentage of the funds should go to

developing the proposal and that the council should come up with a plan.

Demolitions

The council unanimously approved low bids by Grubbs Excavating of

Versailles to demolish houses at 301 Russell Avenue ($6,600) and 207

Russell Avenue ($7,400). The houses were previously condemned by the

council and liens were put on the properties to pay for the work.

Restaurant tax meeting April 13

The council will hold a public hearing via Facebook Live on a proposed

restaurant tax next Tuesday, April 13, at 5:30. Information on the

proposal, which would use the funds raised by the tax for

tourism-related and other projects, was included in the most recent city

water bills and customers (and others) were asked to comment by emailing

Traugott at btraugott@versaillesky.com.

17 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Downtown decorated for Child Abuse Prevention Month

If you have driven downtown Versailles recently, you may have noticed some extra splashes of color. Blue pinwheels, lamppost banners and a banner on the courthouse are all up during April for Child Ab

Public Records - April 8th

By Woodford Sun Staff District Court March 29 Mary Jane Phelps, judge Traffic Disregarding traffic light – Ahmad Alarg, $168; Roberto T. Disciplina, combined with improper passing and no operator’s li

© 2016 by The Woodford Sun. Proudly created by Charismatic Media