VERSAILLES — Woodford Fiscal Court gave final approval Tuesday night to the sale of tax-exempt bonds for the purchase of almost 211 acres of farmland as an addition to Woodford County Park.
A hearing on the bond issuance will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the state Department of Local Government in Frankfort.
The bonds will be used to buy the McCauley Farm next to the existing 178-acre Woodford County Park.
The stipulated amount of the bond issue is $1.65 million. The county will pay an average overall interest rate of 2.67 percent, which is a fixed rate over 20 years.
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The county's purchase of the land had been questioned in recent weeks. Opponents said it sent the wrong message for the fiscal court to make such a large purchase during troubled economic times and to take more farmland out of production.
But Woodford County Judge-Executive John Coyle said the court had to act while it had the chance or lose hundreds of acres of potential parkland that would be used by future generations.
Before the vote, the court heard from Rusty Thompson, a Woodford County farmer who owns land near the parcel the county is buying. He had put in a competing bid for the property, but the McCauley family chose to sell to the county.
Thompson cited various statistics to bolster his argument that the county and its cities aren't growing that much.
He also questioned why the court didn't make the McCauley family aware that they could have received about $148,000 in a "non-cash charitable contribution" as a tax credit.
Woodford County Attorney Alan George said the family did not approach fiscal court about any tax credits or incentives. "They accepted our offer without asking to negotiate," George said after the meeting.
Tuesday night's action was the second reading of an ordinance authorizing the sale of bonds, and the fiscal court repeated its 6-2 vote from two weeks ago.
Magistrates Jackie Brown and Ken Reed voted no. Magistrates Bruce Gill, Charles "Bones" Webber, Larry Craig, Gary Finnell, Gerald Dotson and Duncan Gardiner voted yes.