• John McGary, Woodford Sun Editor

Court holds first reading on ECAP ordinance, Kay: program will benefit businesses, increase energy e

Woodford Fiscal Court held a first reading Tuesday on an ordinance that Judge-Executive James Kay said would increase energy efficiency and save money for participating businesses.

The ECAP (Environmental Compliance Assessment Program) ordinance was first discussed at a meeting of the court’s Ordinance Committee, which reported it favorably, Kay said. Lexington, Louisville and several other cities and counties have ECAP programs in place, he said.

According to the ordinance, the program would “advance the conservation and efficient use of energy and water resources within (the county) by allowing for energy projects to be financed by assessments imposed upon the real property being improved through the energy projects …”

Kay said the program would help not only local businesses that participate, but also efforts to lure new ones. The county would be at no financial or legal risk, he said.

A motion to hold the first reading passed 7 to 0, with Magistrate Mary Ann Gill (Dist. 7) abstaining. She said magistrates have had less than two weeks to review the ordinance, and while the county would not be at financial risk, there would be administrative costs. She said she’d been told by an official with the state Department of Local Governments there was “no taking this back,” and that a future court would not be able to withdraw from the program. Kay said Robert’s Rules of Order do not allow explanations for abstentions to include substantive discussion of the ordinance itself. However, he said he was not ruling Gill out of order and said his intention was not to interrupt her. He said the court could discuss the ECAP program at length when it receives a second reading and final vote at the court’s Feb. 23 meeting.

County Attorney Alan George said the program would be available throughout the county.

COVID relief update

Kay said during the Budget and Finance Committee meeting that preceded the full meeting, members approved another establishment to the list of those receiving help through the Woodford County Food and Beverage Relief Fund. The full court followed suit.

After the meeting, Magistrate William Downey (Dist. 5), the author of the ordinance that established the program to assist restaurants and bars hurt by the pandemic, said the business that was approved was Miss Molly Vintage. It will receive $2,000 in federal CARES Act funds, he said.

Kay said businesses can still apply for the program until the court’s Feb. 23 meeting. More than 30 have been approved for a total of about $120,000.

Internet service

The court unanimously approved a three-year, $1,100 per month contract renewal with Spectrum for internet service. Magistrates also unanimously passed a motion authorizing Emergency Management Director Drew Chandler to review Internet and phone service at all county facilities and to prepare a request for proposals. After the meeting, Chandler said the goal is to standardize those services.

Other contracts

The court unanimously approved a renewal of its annual contract with The Verdin Company for maintenance of the clock tower atop the courthouse. According to the contract, the price is $895 for calendar year 2021, plus tax and a 3.5 percent fee if paid by credit card.

The court also unanimously approved a contract with Johnson Controls to inspect and test 30 fire extinguishers belonging to the road department for $158.79.

Quarterly reports

Quarterly reports for the sheriff’s office, county clerk’s office and Woodford County Detention Center were unanimously approved.

Closing remarks

Kay said the court would hold its second joint meeting (and the first to be held virtually) with the two city councils Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 5:30 p.m.

Magistrate C.L. Watts (Dist. 2) complimented Downey for his work on the Woodford County Food and Beverage Relief Fun. He also praised Road Supervisor Bo Wilson for the work his department did cleaning up around the old Millville School.

Gill said GIS Coordinator Kenneth Johns has been a great help at the Huntertown Community Interpretive Park, for which a master plan is in the works.

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