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Murray city council narrowly rejects ordinance to annex property for assisted living facility

Murray City Council members at the August 25 meeting.
Liam Niemeyer
Murray City Council members at the August 25 meeting.

The Murray City Council narrowly voted down an ordinance Thursday evening to annex property that would have been developed into an assisted living facility.

The 6-5 vote to reject annexing about 17 acres on Robertson Road South follows concerns raised by some residents at a city council meeting earlier this month over the need for such a facility, concerns over potential traffic congestion and more. The Murray Ledger and Times reported Murray-Calloway County Economic Development Corporation President Mark Manning spoke in favor of the project in terms of economic growth.

Murray City Council member Burton Young, who cast the swing vote, said he believes there’s a need for assisted living facilities in Murray, but that he decided the location on Robertson Road South wasn’t right after hearing public sentiment on the development.

“Something that would be a little more visible, something that would fit the surrounding areas a little better. It wouldn’t cause congestion in a very dangerous road already,” Young said.

Young hopes the Louisville-based company that had planned the $14 million investment to build the assisted living facility at that location still plans on coming to Murray.

Janet Finch, the owner of the property that would have been annexed, said she thought the development would have been an “excellent” project to serve elderly people in the community. After the council decided not to annex her property, she said she ultimately wants what’s best for Murray.

Finch said she also believed some of the concerns shared by residents against the development were inaccurate, saying that the development company planned to stagger shifts to the site to reduce traffic on the road and that nearby property values wouldn’t have been hurt by the development.

“There’s been some scare tactics used,” Finch said. “Everyone wants progress, but they don’t want it in their neighborhood. That’s what this comes down to.”

Also at the council meeting, Murray Police Department Chief Jeffrey Liles accepted an award for Chief of the Year from the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police. Liles told the council and crowd at the meeting that he was “put here to serve” the community and that the award was for the entire community.

“This community has been great to me,” Liles said. “We still got work to do. Let’s get it done.”

Liles said growing up in a home where his mom raised three children by herself and him being a first-generation college student at Murray State University, he had “made it.”

"Liam Niemeyer is a reporter for the Ohio Valley Resource covering agriculture and infrastructure in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia and also serves Assistant News Director at WKMS. He has reported for public radio stations across the country from Appalachia to Alaska, most recently as a reporter for WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio. He is a recent alumnus of Ohio University and enjoys playing tenor saxophone in various jazz groups."
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