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Wilmore development, to grow or not to grow

Several big ticket items were discussed at the Wilmore City Council meeting Monday night.

Among those items was the Waste Water Treatment Plant Project. The bids for the project came in higher than the engineers’ original estimate. 

Out of the five bids received, Dugan & Meyers Construction from Louisville was the lowest with a $3.3 million price tag.

A  motion was made to accept the low bid on the contingency that Rural Development would lend the city up to $400,000 more for the project.

In order to move forward, the city needs to borrow at least $363,000 more to commit to the $3.9 million project, said David Carlstedt, director of utilities and public works, after the meeting. Originally the city asked for $1.8 million on a loan from Rural Development, but now that figure is at about $2.2 million. 

In addition to the project loan, the city also has a Community Development Block Grant for one million dollars as well as a $625,000 Rural Development grant. The city also raised over $200,000 from locals for a community match. 

“For a small community to come up with $200,000 is a big deal,” Carlstedt said. 

Another project that has the potential to impact Wilmore was discussed at the meeting. Legacy Point Capitol is the new developer of the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, and will be heard by the Joint Planning Commission on  Oct. 11.

The original development plan for the project was approved in 2006, but various difficulties delayed progress. Now, Legacy Point Capitol wants to develop the 465-acre property owned by Bill Robinson, under an amended development plan with recommendations from Jack Nicklaus and housing developers. During the October meeting, developers will present the plan for the Jack Nicholas Signature Golf Course and also request a zone map amendment, to change what goes where on the golf course. 

Currently, Wilmore has 1,700 houses. This project will bring in 550 more living units, consisting of 227 town houses and 323 single-family homes, Carlestedt said. 

Wilmore Joint Planning Commission Chairman Pete Beaty also discussed future plans with the council. Beaty presented a Land Use Map with existing and future designations to the city council and asked for their input. He emphasized the importance of the council considering commercial, professional and business use of land in Wilmore. 

Council member James Brumfield said he couldn’t think of any more places to put commercial zones in Wilmore, but others were a bit more optimistic. Council member Jeff James said the city needs to think about sustainable business because green space, while beautiful, will not pay the taxes. He suggested an aesthetic layout – something that would be profitable and beautiful, like Aspen, Colorado. 

“We are going to have to address what Wilmore can look like instead of what it might look like,” James said. 

The council ultimately decided to schedule a work session beginning at 7 p.m. after their regular meeting on Oct. 3 to discuss possible changes to the Land Use Map. 

The council also approved the first reading of an ordinance setting the 2016 real and tangible property tax rates, as well as motor vehicle tax rates.

The council voted to keep all three of the tax rates flat this year which means the real property tax rate will be 22.4 cents per $100 of assessed property value. The tax rate on tangible property will be 74.8 cents per $100 of assessed value and the motor vehicle tax rate will be 21.4 cents per $100.

The tax rates are determined based on increased property value of assessed property valuation. 

The council will hold second readings of the three proposed tax rates at the next meeting beginning at 6 p.m. on Oct. 3.