Paducah City Commission Meeting Highlights
By WestKyStar Staff
PADUCAH, KY -
The following is a brief summary of Tuesday's Paducah City Commission meeting.
Rename Henry Clay Park as Albert Jones Park (vote August 14)
To honor former Mayor Albert Jones who served as mayor from 1996 until 2000, Commissioner Gerald Watkins introduced an ordinance to rename 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 appreciative of the honor saying, “That’s a nice neighborhood. People ought to have a place to walk, to walk safely.” Jones is a Korean War veteran who has served as Commonwealth attorney, U.S. attorney, and a state representative. Commissioner Watkins says, “Jones has had a life of public service for the community. He’s one of our local heroes.” Jones says while he served as mayor he realized he had to sometimes step on toes to accomplish the things he wanted for the city. Jones says, “Holding public office, especially city office, is not for the timid.” Mayor Bill Paxton says Jones has been his confidant and the encouragement from Jones was a tremendous factor in his decision to run for Mayor in 2000.
An ordinance also was introduced amending Section 70 of the Paducah Code of Ordinances to reflect the changing of the name of the park.
Amendment to Comprehensive Plan Goals and Objectives
The City of Paducah 2025 Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 2007. According to Kentucky Revised Statutes 100.197, the Comprehensive Plan shall be reviewed every five years. The Paducah Planning Commission reviewed the document and held a public hearing at its June 18, 2012 meeting and adopted a resolution recommending the amendment of the Goals and Objectives for the 2025 Comprehensive Plan. The Mayor and Commissioners adopted a municipal order adopting the recommendation by the Planning Commission. A few of the amendments added to the plan include
- Actively engage developers that may be interested in developing subdivisions (both residential and commercial) to make them aware of the existing reimbursement annexation policy;
- The City should continue to develop programs that attract and retain artists;
- Actively support the GPEDC to market the I-24 Logistics Park, Information Age Park, and the Ohio River Triplerail Mega-Park; and
- Recruit a full service convention hotel and recruit or renovate a family-style hotel in downtown Paducah.
The original plan was a City and County joint plan. However, McCracken County has not adopted the plan. The goals and objectives in the Growth Management section, which referred mainly to the County, are being deleted with this amendment.
Mitigation Plan for Pecan Drive Bridge Project
The Mayor and Commissioners adopted a municipal order authorizing the Mayor to execute the Declaration of Restrictive Covenants for Conservation Deed. This deed places specified restrictions and prohibits current and future use of the properties at each bridge on Pecan. This deed is required by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the KY Division of Water as part of the Pecan Drive Bridge Project that was completed more than five years ago. A mitigation plan that addressed stream and wetland mitigation, streambank repair, wetland creation, monitoring, maintenance, and wetland preservation was prepared as a part of the project with a substantial portion of the required mitigation already completed. This Conservation Deed creates a conservation area for the 8.1 acres near the bridges.
Authorize Contract for Next Phase of Greenway Trail
The Mayor and Commissioners approved an ordinance to authorize the contract with Wilkins Construction Company for the next phase of the Greenway Trail project. The contract amount is $543,759. Bids were opened June 28, 2012. This phase of the Greenway Trail project will consist of the construction of approximately 8,800 linear feet (1.67 miles) of a concrete pedestrian and bicycle trail on the city’s floodwall levee. City Engineer-Public Works Director Rick Murphy says, “Concrete’s going to give you better durability, a longer life.” Murphy also says concrete is easier to maintain than asphalt and will be cooler during the summer. The trail will begin next to the Expo Center parking lot downtown and stop behind the Smoke Shop on North 8th Street. Two shelters, four benches, and signs also are included in the project. Construction will begin this summer. This phase of the Greenway Trail is funded by a 2006 federal Transportation Enhancement grant. A future phase of the Greenway Trail, which is under design, will connect the existing trail in Noble Park to this phase. The City of Paducah currently has a trail approximately 1.75 miles in length that runs from Noble Park to County Park Road at the Perkins Creek Nature Preserve. The existing stretch of trail was unveiled at a ribbon cutting ceremony in July 2008.
Indiana Bat Conservation Memorandum of Agreement
The Mayor and Commissioners approved an ordinance to execute the Indiana Bat Conservation Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. As part of the Riverfront Redevelopment Project and the necessity to clear trees around the boat launch location downstream of the Expo Center, it was determined that the area is in a summer mating habitat zone for the Indiana bat which is listed as a federally endangered species. To minimize the effect on the Indiana bats, the MOA outlines that no trees will be cleared from June 1 through July 31. Also no more than 0.99 acres will be cleared. Based on the land clearing, the City of Paducah is required to pay $5742 to the Indiana Bat Conservation Fund. City Engineer-Public Works Director Rick Murphy says, “This is a minor hurdle. We want to be environmentally sensitive and compliant.”
Kentucky Housing Corporation 2012 HOME Grant
The Mayor and Commissioners approved an ordinance accepting the funding agreement in the amount of $309,500 for the Kentucky Housing Corporation’s 2012 HOME grant. This homeowner assistance grant will be used to build seven new single-family homes in the Fountain Avenue Neighborhood for low to moderate-income families. Before construction begins on each home, the City is required to have a pre-qualified buyer. Each home will cost an average of $120,000; however, with the City’s match and the HOME grant, the average cost per homeowner will be $68,000 plus interest. This is the second HOME grant within the Fountain Avenue Neighborhood. A 2010 grant provided for the construction of seven new homes and the rehabilitation of two existing ones.
Contract for Services with Agencies
The Commissioners approved ordinances for contracts with the following agencies for fiscal year 2012-2103:
- GPEDC $250,000
- Barkley Regional Airport $136,430
- Paducah Area Transit System $225,000
- Paducah Junior College, Inc. $125,000 (for Community Scholarship Program)
- Paducah Junior College, Inc. $75,000 (for Paducah School of Art operational expenses for school’s two locations, 409 Broadway and 919 Madison Street)
Interlocal Agreement with County for Animal Control Services
The Commissioners approved an ordinance to update the interlocal agreement with McCracken County for animal control services. The City and County entered into an interlocal agreement in 2004 to consolidate the animal control services. At that time, the City disbanded its animal control division and started providing funding to the County to operate the program and provide the staffing. In the past few months, McCracken County has ceased using the Humane Society for animal confinement and has constructed its own shelter. This update to the interlocal agreement reflects that change in addition to providing language referring to state compliance requirements regulating the handling of animals. Additionally, it contains new record keeping requirements and recognizes the need to consider operational revenues in the calculation of net cost for the City for services rendered in Paducah. The agreement is for a period of two years. McCracken County is in the process of creating an advisory board for its new animal shelter.
- Boards and Commissions: Heather Coltharp reappointed to Historical & Architectural Review Commission; and Craig Newbern, Jr. and Chevene Duncan-Herring appointed to Paducah Human Rights Commission.
- Ordinance approved to rescind the ordinance adopted May 8, 2012 for the purchase of fire structural turnout gear from Bluegrass Fire Equipment. After evaluation, it was determined there was a technical discrepancy and the wrong vendor was awarded.
- Ordinance approved accepting the bid of Fire Department Service & Supply Company for the purchase of fire structural turnout gear in the amount of $21,675.
- Ordinance approved for change order #2 for the uniform services contract for the fire department. The change order adds the fire prevention staff who have been recently incorporated into the fire department from the former inspection department.
- Ordinance approved approving a three year rate guarantee from the Kentucky League of Cities for Workers’ Compensation and Property Insurance coverage.
- Ordinance approved accepting proposed premiums from the Kentucky League of Cities for Workers’ Compensation, Liability Insurance, and Property Insurance coverage. The total cost of all premiums is $913,963.
- Ordinance approved to close a portion of a 20 foot alley from North 9th Street to the Paducah & Louisville Railroad located between Madison and Harrison Streets.
- Ordinance introduced (vote Aug. 14) to authorize a two-year contract with Aramark Uniforms Services for use by the Engineering-Public Works and Parks Departments.
- Ordinance introduced (vote Aug. 14) to accept 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 introduced (vote Aug. 14) to accept 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 introduced (vote Aug. 14) for a contract with the Convention Center Corporation to provide the CCC an appropriation of $100,000.
- The grand opening for the dog park at Stuart Nelson Park will be at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, August 15. The fencing contractor will begin next week installing the fence.
- The Emancipation Celebration Parade will be Saturday, August 4 at 11 a.m.