PADUCAH, Ky. (4/17/13) – The following are the highlights of Paducah City Commission meeting held on Tuesday, April 16, 2013.
Human Resources Director Cindy Medford briefed the Mayor and Commissioners about the Kentucky Rx Card program which is a free statewide prescription assistance program open to anyone regardless of age or income. Commissioner Richard Abraham had asked Medford to research the validity of the program. Medford found that the Kentucky League of Cities advocates it. City Manager Jeff Pederson says, “We are simply trying to help the public to know that this is out there.” There are no forms to fill out and no restrictions on membership. The goal is to help the uninsured and underinsured afford prescription medications. However, those with health insurance can also use the program on non-covered medications. Both brand and generic medications are eligible for discounts ranging from 30%-75%. Kentucky Rx Card is accepted at more than 56,000 pharmacies across the country, including all major chains. In addition to the prescription drug card, the program offers other discounts on teeth whitening supplies, prescription eye glasses, hearing aids, and diabetic supplies. The program is estimated to have saved more than $9 million to Kentucky residents. Medford also provided statistics regarding the health of Kentucky’s residents. Kentucky currently is second in the nation for tobacco use and sixth in the nation for high obesity rates and for diabetes. According to the 2010 Census, more than 647,000 Kentuckians do not have health insurance. Kentucky residents can obtain a free card, search drug pricing, and locate participating pharmacies by visiting www.KentuckyRxCard.com. The website lists participating pharmacies in the Paducah-McCracken County area including CVS, Kmart, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Sam’s Pharmacy, and Strawberry Hills Pharmacy.
City Manager Jeff Pederson provided the Mayor and Commissioners with an outline including funding sources, funds spent to date, and budgets for each of three projects related to the riverfront project. This presentation was an informational one with no action taken. The construction contracts for the first two projects are planned to be introduced at next Tuesday’s Commission meeting with a second reading on the ordinances the following Tuesday. If approved, the work for the first two projects would begin in May.
Ohio River Boat Launch Project: Bids were opened in March for the Ohio River Boat Launch Project which will add a boat ramp, courtesy dock, and parking area at the end of Burnett Street. Burnett Street would be improved from North 8th Street to North 6th Street over the floodwall. In tallying the available grant funding, funds spent to date on the project (dating back to 2007), the reallocation of current year MAP funds (State municipal aid program for funding road projects), and proposed funding of nearly $200,000 from next year’s Investment Fund budget, the total project budget will be $2.94 million.
Breakwater Project (also known as the mass fill or bump-out project): The Engineering-Public Works Department received sealed bids for the Riverfront Redevelopment Project Phase 1-A, Piles and Mass Fill, project on April 4. This project involves the installation by barge of approximately 230,000 cubic yards of stone fill in the Ohio River to create a land mass, the installation of guide structures for a gangway, and the removal of existing concrete rip-rap. Once the fill is in place, it will need to settle for nine to 12 months before further work can commence. Due to the three received bids being in excess of the funds available, the bids were rejected. The bids ranged from $6.6 million to $8.2 million. City Engineer-Public Works Director Rick Murphy says the bids were surprisingly high since the engineering estimate was $3.9 million. The City of Paducah commenced competitive negotiations with the bidders on Monday, April 15, bringing the bid to $4.49 million. So far, dating back to 2008, the City has invested $1.26 million in this project including engineering design, legal fees, and mussel relocation costs. At this point, there is a $1.42 million shortfall. Pederson recommends using more than a half million in funds from an upcoming bond or from the general fund reserve in addition to the proceeds from the sale of the city-owned property on Sheehan Bridge Road. The City bought the property several years ago for $900,000 with the plan to construct a sports complex. Pederson says, “The sale of the Sheehan Bridge Road property has not happened yet. It will happen in May or probably June.” Pederson has been working with local auction companies to get an idea of land prices and feels the City can reclaim its investment in the property.
Marina Services Building/Gangway/Transient Dock Project: Bids would not be requested for this project until 2014. It involves the construction of a marina services building and fueling station, a 400 foot transient dock, and a gangway. Slips for a marina would be bid alternates. This project includes the landscaping for the breakwater project. Including funds spent to date and grant funding, this project is expected to cost $5.1 million.
Earlier this year, Paducah Renaissance Alliance announced that the downtown Farmers’ Market would be open three days per week with some evening hours rather than the six days per week offered last year. Pederson says he will be work with PRA to change the schedule so that the market is open six days per week this year.
Information provided by Pam Spencer
Photo provided by SurfKY Graphics
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