The company that plans to bring a new cookie and cracker plant to Versailles said it will hold a public meeting Friday to listen to concerns that residents might have about drainage, lighting, noise control and traffic patterns.
The announcement came Monday after the Versailles City Council voted 6-0 to rezone and annex the property on Big Sink Road where More Than a Bakery LLC plans to build. The company plans to employ more than 300 people eventually.
Residents who live near the plant site have expressed concerns that the plant will worsen flooding in an area where water pools over two-lane county roads after heavy rains.
The council vote came during a special meeting Monday morning. Council member Ken Kerkhoff, who was in Florida, cast his vote via Skype to join council members Mary Jane Bradley, Carl Ellis, Gary Jones, Ann Miller and Owen Roberts in voting for the rezoning and annexation.
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The Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Planning Commission had recommended rezoning the land from agricultural to light industrial.
The council based its decision solely on the record of a March 10 planning commission meeting. The council could have held its own public hearing and based its rezoning decision on its own record, but it chose not to do so.
Ellis, a former member of the planning commission, said “that there has been an awful lot of talk about drainage.” He said the preliminary plat presented by the company states that “stormwater management, floodplains, environmentally sensitive areas and/or geological hazard areas shall be addressed in accordance with federal, state and local regulations.”
More Than a Bakery will have to come back to the planning commission’s Technical Review Committee with detailed construction plans. The committee reviews technical aspects of a proposed development, including whether it meets utility requirements and regulations of the county planning ordinance.
“This is not a done deal,” Ellis said. “There are still a lot of hoops they have to go through.”
After the vote, Mayor Brian Traugott read an announcement from Bill Quigg, president of Richmond Baking, about Friday’s public meeting, which will be at 1 p.m. on the third floor of the Woodford County Courthouse. More Than a Bakery is affiliated with Richmond Baking.
“While we are excited to be expanding our company into Woodford County, we understand that these changes and growth might present questions, comments or concerns from those who already call this home,” Quigg wrote.
“Fortunately, we are still in the early planning stages of our facility design, and we have the opportunity to consider a variety of different options when it comes to aesthetics, lighting, landscape, noise control, drainage and traffic patterns.
“We believe that the more ideas that can be brought forth and discussed, the better,” Quigg wrote. “To help us gather your thoughts and ideas, we would like to hold a public meeting where we can listen and understand your thoughts and concerns as it relates to our impact on the community.”
Bobby Gaffney of Big Sink Road, one of the residents who has expressed concern about flooding, traffic and other issues, said he welcomed Quigg’s offer.
“I would think any time that you want to talk, it’s a good-faith effort, if you’re willing to talk and do something about it,” Gaffney said. “I think they need people there that can answer some questions.
“We need jobs, but we’re not in a situation where we just need to stick a 10-acre building plus other buildings that are going to do no-telling-what to our area.”