Options for Duck Island Addressed at Meeting
By Candice Freeland
PADUCAH, KY - The Paducah City Commission meeting Tuesday was unexpectedly tame, given the recent public outcry over the recommended removal of Duck Island from the lake in Noble Park. Dissent was intense enough to get commissioners to back away that decision and instead look to refurbish it.
The task of coming up with those solutions fell upon Mark Thompson, director of Paducah Parks, and he presented the ideas at Tuesday's City Commission meeting.
He placed a toy duck on the podium as he made his remarks, saying, "you've got to have a sense of humor when you're in a situation like this".
Thompson said the problem with canadian geese in the park is that they eat grass down to the roots, and this has contributed to the erosion that is evident on the island. He added that the south end of the lake has exposed roots and some sinking of the fishing pier.
Options for improvement include a floating artificial island, installing Gabion, or rock-filled baskets, installing a vinyl sea wall, or layering rip-rap.
Thompson says the rip-rap has a lower initial cost and will have a lifespan of ten-plus years. It would cost $23,500 to incorporate it into the island alone, with the bank at an estimated additional $33,000.
The vinyl sea wall would have a higher initial cost but would last longer. The island alone would cost $29,300. Installing it around the bank would be an additional $77,000.
Thompson says those estimates do not include sidewalks around this area, which would have a separate estimated cost of $28,000.
The options will be discussed, and the city hopes to be ready for bids by July, 2013.
Rename Henry Clay Park as Albert Jones Park
To honor former Mayor Albert Jones who served as Mayor from 1996 until 2000, the Mayor and Commissioners approved an ordinance renaming Henry Clay Park as Albert Jones Park. The park is located at the former Henry Clay Elementary School site just northeast of Brooks Stadium. The park, located between Joe Bryan Drive, Guthrie Avenue, B Street, and South 21st Street, is approximately six acres with a walking path. Jones is a Korean War veteran who has served as Commonwealth attorney, U.S. attorney, and a state representative. Commissioner Watkins initiated the renaming of the park. An ordinance also was approved amending Section 70 of the Paducah Code of Ordinances to reflect the changing of the name of the park.
Fountain Avenue Commercial Construction Financial Assistance Program
The Mayor and Commissioners introduced an ordinance creating a commercial construction financial assistance program for the Fountain Avenue Neighborhood. This incentive package is similar to the existing incentive package for residents. The construction incentive package will help promote new commercial construction in the Fountain Avenue Neighborhood by providing monetary incentives to property owners that spend a minimum of $100,000 constructing new commercial buildings in compliance with the neighborhood design guidelines. An approved participant can receive a five-year forgivable loan up to 10% of the actual construction costs not to exceed $20,000. The total expenditures for the new incentive program are limited at $40,000. Planning Director Steve Ervin says helping the initial private commercial investments will help generate more confidence in future commercial development. Final vote on this ordinance will be August 28.
•Boards and Commissions: Lorraine Schramke and Lee King appointed to the McCracken County Animal Shelter Advisory Board; and Burford Wilson reappointed to the Board of Adjustment.
•Municipal order approved transferring $13,020 from the Commission Contingency Fund as the local match for the FEMA Hazardous Mitigation Grant Program through the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management. In July 2011, the City applied for the grant to provide an emergency generator for Fire Station 1 at 301 Washington Street. The grant in the amount of $100,159 includes $75,120 in federal funds, $12,019 from the State, and the local match of $13,020.
•Municipal order approved to apply for the 2013 Kentucky Litter Abatement Grant through the Kentucky Division of Waste Management. The grant request is for at least $17,000 with no local match required.
•Municipal order approved for the Police Department to request an award in the amount of $2500 from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Foundation. There is no local match required. Police Chief James Berry says if awarded the funds would be used to offer two Junior Citizens’ Police Academy classes next year.
•Ordinance approved authorizing a two-year contract with Aramark Uniforms Services for use by the Engineering-Public Works and Parks Departments.
•Ordinance approved accepting the 2011 Edward Byrne Memorial Grant Award through the U.S. Department of Justice in the amount of $16,035. This grant does not require a local match. The funds will be used to purchase in-car camera systems and patrol rifles for the Paducah Police Department.
•Ordinance approved accepting the Kentucky Governor’s Highway Safety grant in the amount of $36,200. This grant does not require a local match. The funds will be used by the Police Department to fund officer overtime hours and a Kentucky State Police conference registration.
•Ordinance approved for a contract with the Convention Center Corporation to provide the CCC an appropriation of $100,000.
•Ordinance introduced (vote August 28) to accept FEMA’s Fire Prevention and Safety Grant in the amount of $78,979. The grant requires a local match of $8775. The funds will be used for the salary and benefits for a deputy fire marshal position and to provide funding for the Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program of Paducah-McCracken County.
•Ordinance introduced (vote August 28) to accept the Kentucky Arts Council’s 2013 Kentucky Cultural District Grant award in the amount of $5000. This grant does not require a local match. The funds will be used for the planning and designing of a way-finding program for the cultural arts district downtown and in LowerTown.
•Ordinances introduced (vote August 28) for annual contracts with the following agencies: Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center (in the amount of $68,220) and EntrePaducah (in the amount of $100,000).
•The grand opening ceremony for the Paducah Dog Park at Stuart Nelson Park will be at 2 pm on Wednesday.