• John McGary, Woodford Sun Editor

EDA reverses course on Midway Station industrial lot sale – again

At its April 19 monthly meeting, Woodford Economic Development Authority

(EDA) Chair Michael Michalisin said the pending land sale of the last

industrial lot at Midway Station to an unnamed bourbon distillery had

“dissolved.”

It was the third different announcement regarding the lot in the group’s

last three meetings.

At the EDA’s March 24 meeting, members unanimously authorized Michalisin

to sign closing documents for the sale of Lot 24’s 4.6 acres for

$100,000 to the distillery, the owners of which planned to build a

barrel warehouse there. In February, the EDA voted unanimously to sign a

letter of intent with a couple who planned to build more than 400 rental

storage units on Lot 24 on what Michalisin called “highly challenged

topography, but changed course after discussions with the bourbon

distillery.

During discussions for the sale to the bourbon distillery, Michalisin

said barrel taxes generated by the warehouse, which increase as the

whiskey ages, would almost immediately begin generating revenue for

Woodford public schools. The topography, which will require lots of dirt

to be moved for most uses, was cited as the reason for the lowering of

the EDA’s usual asking price of $65,000 per acre of industrial-zoned

land. At the April 19 meeting, member Maria Bohanan acknowledged the

challenges the land posed, but called it a great lot.

After the meeting, Michalisin said it was possible the EDA would

consider the rental storage unit proposal again.

Sheridan Kentucky

Executive Director Lucas Witt said he’d visited Sheridan Kentucky and

that the book-manufacturing company was growing – and hiring. (The

former Quad/Graphics buildings and land were sold to Minnesota-based

Sheridan-CJK Group last July.) Witt said the company was looking to sell

a 275,000 square-foot building on the property with lots of dock doors

and drive-ins.

Industry Day

Witt praised videos shot by the Wrigley Media Group and Cooltucky

Creative for the upcoming Industry Day. The videos shot at Ruggles Sign,

Sheridan Kentucky, More Than A Bakery and Lakeshore Learning Materials

will be shown to Woodford County High School seniors before the end of

the school year.

Due to the pandemic, Industry Day, which began in 2017 with tours of

local manufacturers designed to show students job opportunities right

out of high school, was cancelled last year. In February, the EDA voted

unanimously to pay $4,000 to the Wrigley Media Group of Lexington and

$2,000 to Cooltucky Creative of Versailles to shoot, edit and produce

videos about local industries for this year’s Industry Day.

The EDA will own the produced videos and other footage, portions of

which will be posted on the group’s website.

Later in the meeting, John Soper, the former EDA chair now working for

the real estate marketing firm hired by the EDA to sell land at Midway

Station, said the videos should also be shown to middle-schoolers.

Bluegrass Distillery

Michalisin said Bluegrass Distilleries was in stand-by mode to receive a

community development block grant enabling it to obtain a low-interest

bank loan for its new site on the Mitchell property near Midway Station.

New jobs

Bohanan said she and Witt had spoken with Versailles Mayor Brian

Traugott about his “long-term” strategy to offer incentives to companies

offering “good, new jobs” for the community. Witt said the plan will

target companies in the manufacturing, technical and professional

services industries and that he couldn’t be more excited about it.


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