Paducah Set to Apply for $25 Million Grant
By Leah Long
PADUCAH, KY - Paducah's City Commissioners approved an ordinance allowing the city to apply for a $12.7 million dollar federal grant that would bring additional development to the riverfront area, got a sneak peek at alternatives to the storm water master plan, received an update on phase one of the city hall renovation project.

The city will apply for a $12.7 million dollar Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grant. Applicants can apply for up to $25 million for  transportation related projects that have a local and regional impact.  The City of Paducah is partnering with the Paducah-McCracken County Port  Authority to seek grant funds totaling $24,895,759.  

The program of projects is being called Riverfront to Riverport:  Investing in Paducah’s Maritime Hub “It is important for Paducah to grasp the framework we have laid for all these projects.  We would not be  here if it wasn’t for the river.  We want to embrace our river roots," said Planning Director Tammara Tracy.

The Port Authority seeks $10.8 million to construct a loading area for general cargo and containers.  The City’s funding request, which totals slightly more than $12.6 million, would be used to construct a landing/excursion pier to provide a docking point for the steamboats that visit Paducah between  April and December.

This landing/excursion pier was identified as a project to enhance Paducah’s riverfront in the 2007 Riverfront Master Plan created by JJR.  Also, the City’s funding would be used to develop the former Executive Inn site into the Paducah Commons.  A master plan for that area was completed by RATIO Architects in 2015 with additional design work completed by Bacon Farmer Workman Engineering & Testing.  Some of the Paducah Commons elements include a sculpture walk, vendor areas, a great lawn, a performance area, walkways, and seating.

Tracy said the park would also have ampitheater for music and movie events, a covered, colored promenade and even a beach area for volleyball and free play area for kids.

After the commissioners discussed the option of using TIF District money to help pay for the project, Paducah Mayor Brandy Harless amended the ordinance to increase the city's match of 10 percent to 20 percent.  The amendment and the ordinance were both approved unanimously. If funded, the City would have until the summer of 2020 to begin construction.

City Manager Rick Murphy introduced Steve Vogle and John Lyons, with Strand and Associates who showed the commission solutions to the city's flooding problems and possible ways to fund them.  Vogle began by saying this is a project that has been going on for over a year and after holding several public meetings and consulting with the Storm Water Advisory Committee (SWAC), they have taken a list of 23 problem areas and narrowed those to 10 problem areas and prioritized those areas.

Vogle said they used a benefit to cost ratio in determing the solutions.  They also looked at developing 100-year, 25-year and 10-year plans and when looking at one area, reducing the solution from a 100-year plan to a 25-year plan reduced the cost by 26 percent and only created a 2 percent reduction to the overall benefit.

Information was presented to the SWAC to get the group's input and as a whole, the 25-year plan was chosen as a middle ground. Using a 25-year storm event to design the projects for the ten areas reduces the estimated total cost to approximately $32 to $36 million.  These projects could eliminate 160 to 180 primary structures (such as homes) from flooding and greatly reduce the flooding risk for another 275-310 primary structures within the Paducah city limits.

He showed the commission solutions for three project areas of Cross Creek, Pecan Drive near Crooked Creek and the Madison Street area.

John Lyons then spoke about ways to fund the master stormwater master plan.  Lyons said when evaluating the cost, he tries to think outside the box.  Some of the ways the project could be funded include from the city's general fund, from taxes - either property or sales; fees, grants or from a storm water utility, which he emphasized is not a tax, but more of a user fee that is calculated by how many square feet of impervious surface a property has.

Commissioner Sandra Wilson asked for clarification regarding the stormwater utility not being a tax.  Lyons said it would be considered more of a user fee for a service that everyone would have to pay.  Mayor Brandy Harless said money would have to come from residents' pockets. "We are all having to lean in and and take responsibility to solve a really big problem in our community. More public meetings will be held in order to show residents the plans.

The approved an ordinance for change order No. 1 for the City Hall Phase I project that was first introduced to the commission two weeks ago.  The Change Order reduces the City’s contract with A&K Construction by $206,381.  This reduction is due the Kentucky Heritage Council’s (KHC) recent decision to approve a window supplier that is less expensive.  Since Paducah’s City Hall is on the National Register of Historic Places, the project team must submit key components of the rehabilitation project to the KHC for approval.  

The commissioners were also introduced an ordinance for change order No. 2 which involves nine elements that have either been deleted or added to the project.  The net result of the nine elements increases the contract with A&K by $16,836.  A portion of the cost increase is due to the repair needed to the beams and canopy after the removal of paint and concrete filler revealed several areas in need of patching.  Another addition is due to the need to increase the roof slope for drainage.  

Taking into account the cost reduction due to Change Order No. 1 and the slight cost increase due to Change Order No. 2, the total contract with A&K is $4,104,236. The contract with A&K to rehabilitate City Hall was approved by the Paducah Board of Commissioners on January 23 of this year.  The contractor began working March 4.  

This project includes the rehabilitating and improving of City Hall’s roofing membrane, concrete overhang (canopy) through steel beam stabilization of roof cantilevers, facade, heating and cooling systems, skylights, windows, and exterior doors.  Currently, the building has a screen around it as crews have been removing layers of paint and debris from the exterior.  The screen helps keep the debris on the concrete podium area for containment and removal.  The project is expected to be completed around Thanksgiving, which is ahead of schedule. 

In other commission business:

* The commission heard from Scott Darnell, president, CEO of Paducah Economic Development (PED) and Monica Bilak on EntrePaducah -  a concierge service through PED that helps connect entrepreneurs and small business owners with local and regional organizations and resources.  PED partners with Murray State University, Sprocket Inc., and other organizations to assist entrepreneurs and startup businesses.  Bilak recently visited several cities with successful entrepreneurial programs.  Bilak will be working with PED to construct a plan to increase business development and entrepreneurial programming in Paducah based on her research and visits to other cities. 

* An ordinance for the recodification of the Paducah Code of Ordinances was passed.  KRS 83A.060(11) requires cities to review and revise their Code of Ordinances for internal consistency and State law compliance every five years.  The City entered into a contract in 2017 with Municipal Code Corporation for the recodification process.  Over the past several months, the City Clerk’s office, department staff, and the Municipal Code Corporation along with the assistance of Denton Law Firm have been working to eliminate redundant, obsolete, and invalid provisions.  City Clerk Lindsay Parish said this process updated approximately 125 sections across 20 chapters of Paducah’s code.  A few of the noteworthy changes include degenderizing the majority of the code, updating the Board of Commissioners meeting dates and order of business to reflect current practices, and updating sections for compliance with the American’s with Disabilities Act.  Once the online version is updated, links will be provided to sections that reference State law.  Furthermore, the begging ordinance was updated to comply with the Kentucky Supreme Court Decision on panhandling.  The online version of the updated Code of Ordinances is expected to be available later this month.

* A municipal order approved accepting the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Accountability Grant through the U.S. Department of Justice in the amount of $11,284 for the purchase of a license plate reader system.  The grant does not require a local match.  However, the license plate reader is approximately $21,000.

* And an ordinance introduced  for an agreement with HDR Engineering in the amount of $166,500 for data collection and pavement inspections associated with the implementation of the pavement management software program, PAVER.  Once the information is collected and imported into the PAVER software system, the program will provide cost information regarding street repairs, maintain an inventory, and provide reports that will help the City objectively identify streets in need of repair.  Then, each street will be re-inspected using summer interns every three years.  The commission will vote on the ordinance at its July 24 meeting.

To watch the meeting in its entirety, click the link below.

On the Net:

City of Paducah's YouTube Channel

Published 11:15 PM, Tuesday Jul. 10, 2018
Updated 04:48 AM, Wednesday Jul. 11, 2018

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