City Commission Meeting Highlights
By Pam Spencer, City Information Officer
PADUCAH, KY - The Paducah City Commission met for its regularly scheduled meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 530 pm. Commissioner Carol Gault was unable to attend this meeting. Following are highlights from the meeting:
Increasing Paducah Renaissance Alliance Advisory Board Membership
Paducah Renaissance Alliance (PRA) Executive Director Lisa Thompson and PRA Chairperson Darlene Mazzone presented the Mayor and Commissioners a request to amend the current PRA ordinance to increase the advisory board membership from nine to 15 members. To provide some context, Mazzone outlined the goals for PRA, a national main street program, which include
- Sustaining the District’s dynamic and diverse culture and economy;
- Enhancing the District’s role as the region’s cultural and entertainment nexus;
- Strengthening the District’s identity as a place to live;
- Preserving and enhancing the District’s diverse architecture, historic resources, and walkable streets;
- Providing good transportation choices for better access, traffic management, and perception; and
- Establishing creative strategies for managing this special place.
Mazzone added that main street programs rely on a strong volunteer base to form the board
and to form the committees for the four-point main street approach in addition to the many one-time volunteers for special events. Mazzone says a typical main street board consists of nine to 13 members with a district size of seven to eight blocks. However, Paducah’s Renaissance District is composed of 70 blocks with a board membership limited to nine members. Mazzone says, “I think this board needs a wide and broad spectrum of members. We have a lot of territory to cover and a lot to do.” Mazzone would like for the board to include members who live outside the district with a variety of backgrounds. Commissioner Sandra Wilson says, “It’s a great idea to have input from a broader group of people.” An amendment to the PRA ordinance to increase the board membership will be before the Commission at an upcoming meeting.
The Mayor and Commissioners approved a resolution supporting the set of recommendations brought forth by a public pension task force to reform the State’s financially unstable pension system. The task force was created by the General Assembly in 2012. The task force approved the list of recommendations November 20, 2012. The Kentucky League of Cities supports the recommendations which would reform the County Employees Retirement System (CERS). The recommendations of the task force include
- Adoption of a hybrid cash balance plan for new CERS employees;
- Reset the amortization period for the CERS unfunded liability to a new 30-year period;
- Eliminate the automatic cost of living adjustment for employees and retirees; and
- Add a Kentucky League of Cities recommended appointee to the Retirement Board of Trustees.
Cities that want to offer a defined benefit pension plan are required by Kentucky law to participate in CERS. Over the past decade, the City of Paducah has seen a sharp increase in the annual contribution rate. As a comparison, in 2003 the City paid approximately $1,339,000 into CERS for retirement benefits for city employees. However, in this fiscal year the City will pay approximately $4,337,000 into CERS. The City of Paducah has always paid what was required; however, the unfunded liability for CERS continues to increase.
- Mayor Gayle Kaler presented a Duke of Paducah to Charles Bradford. Mayor Kaler says, “Charles Bradford is an icon who works to make Paducah beautiful.” Commissioner Richard Abraham says, “It’s amazing the difference and impact an individual can have on a community.”
- Boards and Commissions:
- Roger Truitt appointed and Eddie Barker reappointed to Commissioner of Water Works board.
- Ronald Rudolph appointed to the Municipal Housing Commission.
- Rodney Worak appointed to the Historical & Architectural Review Commission.
- Jimmy Rex Smith, II appointed to Brooks Stadium Commission.
- Beverly McKinley appointed to Paducah-McCracken County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
- Mike Burger reappointed to the Paducah-McCracken County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
- Municipal order approved to apply for a grant up to $7500 through the National Recreation and Parks Association to be used in the city’s community garden. The City has a 40-plot community garden at the corner of 14th and Madison Streets.
- Municipal order approved to declare the city-owned property located at 833 South 5th Street as surplus and transfer the property to Mrs. Julieann Rose who has offered to buy the property for $50. She plans to grow produce on the small lot and distribute it to the needy.
- Ordinance approved to modify the lease agreement with the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Probation and Parole regarding their rent payment to reflect additional square footage at their facility on South 6th Street.
- Ordinance introduced (vote Feb. 26) to declare the Paducah Water property located at the intersection of Broyles Avenue and A.T. Massa Drive as surplus and transfer the property to the Hendron Fire Department. Paducah Water gained the property when it entered into an agreement last year with the Hendron Water District for the ownership, management, and operation of the district’s water distribution system.
- Ordinance introduced (vote Feb. 26) for a contract with Brehm Striping Company, Inc. for the installation of required pavement marking on various City streets for the remainder of this calendar year and for 2014.
- When you see Commissioner Abraham, tell him congratulations. He has a new granddaughter. Also, City Manager Jeff Pederson is proud to say that his son, Sean, has been offered the job as a city manager of a town in South Dakota.