EDA: Vandegrift disagrees with Midway Station housing proposal
Midway Mayor Grayson Vandegrift does not agree with a proposal by EDA member Paul Schreffler at the group’s Oct. 23 meeting that Midway Station might be a good site for multi-family housing. During the meeting, Schreffler, who chairs an EDA committee charged with coming up with a strategy to sell land at the industrial park, said members were considering three options: doing nothing different, doubling down on the New Urbanism philosophy, and pursuing rezoning that would allow multi-family housing. The latter would require a public hearing and action by the Midway City Council. Vandegrift told the Sun he appreciated the committee’s work, but called the housing proposal a non-starter. “I think the committee was throwing things at a wall to see what stuck, but that one’s not going to stick. Housing at Midway Station – that ship sailed quite some time ago when we rezoned all of the residential (land) to industrial,” Vandegrift said. The meeting began with what EDA Chair Michael Michalisin called “breaking news:” the proceeds of the sale of land at Midway Station were in the bank. EDA Treasurer Maria Bohanan said $77,536.30 was deposited in the EDA’s account from the sale of land to Dever Inc., which will repair and store what the company calls “golf cars” on lots 26 and 27 in the industrial park, increasing the group’s balance to $230,557. Michalisin said the total sale amounted to a mortgage pay down on Midway Station of $302,000. Later in the meeting, Vandegrift said including the 30 jobs expected to be created at Dever Inc., more than 600 jobs have been created at the industrial park since 2015. Ledvance EDA Executive Director Lucas Witt said the vacant Ledvance building is getting lots of looks, in part because there aren’t many facilities that size. He said he was confident that the owner of the property, Phoenix Investors, would find a couple of really good companies to fill the building. Website Witt said he’d spoken with Mandy Lambert, a former official at the state Cabinet for Economic Development, about her company, Mandy Lambert Consulting, redesigning the EDA’s website. Bohanan said it’s important that the EDA have a polished, professional website. Member Anna Beth Bobbitt said she agreed wholeheartedly, but wondered whether Lambert’s proposal, which was not disclosed to the Sun, was a little pricey. Schreffler said many businesses spend between 10 and 15 percent on marketing costs, and that the site should create images to tell a story. Member Alex Riddle said a new branding campaign typically takes six to eight weeks to become effective. No action was taken, and Witt said he’d speak with Lambert again and look into a couple of other options. Versailles Industrial Park The EDA voted 6 to 0 to approve spending up to $800 to add “Motion Industries,” a business that describes itself as the “number one supplier of bearings, pneumatics, hydraulics and mechanical power transmission products,” to the sign at the Versailles Industrial Park. Executive session At the end of the meeting, the EDA went into executive session to discuss potential land purchases and sales, but took no action afterwards.