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Abraham Proposes Reallocation of Rec Center Funds
By Cynthia Howe
PADUCAH - At Tuesday’s Paducah City Commission meeting, Commissioner Richard Abraham suggested that money slated for a new recreation and aquatic center might be better spent on improving the stormwater infrastructure in Paducah.

Commissioner Abraham addressed the other members of the commission Tuesday night, asking them to reconsider how to use a $22 million bond which has been slated for development of a recreation and aquatic center. Abraham would like the Commission to consider using the funds to improve stormwater infrastructure in Paducah.

“I am concerned about the integrity and the stability of the stormwater infrastructure that supports our city,” said Abraham. “I am concerned about the promise made to our citizens that we would address and attend to this flooding danger that has not been properly tended to.”

The City of Paducah contracted with Strand Associates, Inc in March 2017 to study the flooding issues in Paducah. Using information from a storm event in 2015, their initial research identified 10 priority areas at a cost of approximately $40 million in flood mitigation projects.  Abraham said that his understanding was that two of those projects would provide the most benefit at a cost of around $30 million.

“At this point, I'm thinking of the price tag of $30 million for the two capital projects that would help stop some of the flooding," said Abraham. "And then my mind goes directly to a secure $22 million that are currently available to us as a municipal."

Abraham wants commissioners to discuss the issue at their upcoming planning retreat on January 25.

“We're going to go into our retreat and we're going to talk about a lot of stuff,” said Abraham. “Now keep in mind, if you look at our strategic plan, and you look what's tagged over stormwater, it's words like 'vital', words like 'essential', right? Well, I don't think we're treating it like that. We're not treating it like it's very important at all. Now, we talk about it, but we're not putting any funds behind it. But we just floated a $22 million dollar bond for a gym and a swimming pool.”

Last year, the city proposed a stormwater infrastructure fee which would have generated $2.7 million dollars per year.  The proposed fee failed to gain momentum due to concerns over the cost, especially to businesses.

The fee would have cost $6.13 for residential owners and even more for businesses.


Published 03:34 AM, Wednesday Jan. 15, 2020
Updated 05:28 AM, Thursday Jan. 16, 2020

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