PADUCAH, Ky. (3/20/13) – The following are the highlights of Paducah City Commission meeting held on Tuesday, March 12, 2013.
Main Street Director Lisa Thompson updated the Mayor and Commissioners regarding Paducah Renaissance Alliance’s four-point approach which develops and retains the historic integrity and significance of the Renaissance District. The four-point approach includes economic restructuring, promotion, design, and organization. Each point has its own committee and chairperson with three in attendance at this meeting. Regarding the Organization Committee, Rosemarie Steele explained that the committee is working to organize volunteers to help with various events. At least 20 volunteers will be needed to help with the parking during AQS QuiltWeek®. Sharon Poat who chairs the design committee explained that the committee is in the beginning stages of developing a wayfinding plan for the Renaissance District. Regarding the promotions committee, Chairperson Landee Bryant provided a preview of this season’s Live on Broadway which begins May 25 and will run through August 3 on most Saturdays. Thompson also explained that the economic restructuring committee is drafting a roof stabilization program. Thompson says, “We have a large number of buildings in our downtown that have roof problems. And some of those buildings are impacting their neighbors.” Thompson says the program, which is in draft form and has not been approved yet, would involve the City providing a third of the cost for roof projects that cost at least $35,000 with a maximum of $50,000 spent on a project by the City. Thompson plans to provide quarterly updates to the Mayor and Commissioners regarding the work by the PRA committees.
Paducah Fire Chief Steve Kyle outlined to the Mayor and Commissioners changes in how the Fire Prevention Division will approach property maintenance especially in relation to foreclosure and demolition actions. Currently, code enforcement inspects a property and may issue a fine. If the fine is not paid, then a lien is placed against the property. Once the structure needs demolition, the City will issue a demolition order and file additional liens. However, after demolition, the City often continues to maintain the lien-laden property by mowing. But since the City does not own the property, it cannot sell it or give it to an interested party. City Manager Jeff Pederson says, “It doesn’t make sense for the city to slap liens and assume property expenses for long periods of time.” The new process will involve a change in the order of events. Before the City demolishes the structure, it will foreclose on the property and buy it. Chief Kyle says the new process will end up with the City owning more parcels; however, the City will then be able to sell or give the property away. Chief Kyle says, “At the end of the day, if we end up with a lot of green space, we may end up with a development opportunity.” City Manager Jeff Pederson says the goal is for the city to “flip” the properties and be more proactive. Chief Kyle says he hopes the process change will incite responsible home ownership, reduce and eliminate unsafe structures, and incite the reinvestment in a piece of property. The Fire Prevention Division has identified 150 structures in the City of Paducah that need to be razed. The estimated cost for abatement, demolition, foreclosure, and administrative fees of those 150 structures is close to $1.1 million.
Ro Morse and Dabney Haugh of the Paducah Civic Beautification Board (CBB) presented the details of the 49th Annual Dogwood Trail. The dogwoods are expected to bloom either the first or second week of April. City staff installed the dogwood trail signs last week on the 12 mile-long Dogwood Trail. Judging is planned for Sunday, April 7, but it depends upon whether the dogwoods are blooming by that date. The Dogwood Trail awards presentation is tentatively set for Tuesday, April 9 at the Commission meeting. Also, this Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., folks are encouraged to visit one of six local nurseries: Blooms & Gardens, Eads Garden Center, Edwards Nursery, James Sanders Nursery, Montgomery Gardens, and Wahl's Landscape and Garden Shoppe for the Dogwood Tree Sale. CBB members will be there to answer questions. The best time to plant a dogwood is in the spring or fall. For every dogwood purchased on Saturday, a $1 donation will be made to the Children’s Memorial Garden under construction across from the tennis courts at Noble Park. Last year more than 120 dogwoods were sold on that day. The Children’s Memorial Garden is in memory of the 19 children who lost their lives in the Oklahoma City bombings. The original memorial garden was planted in 1996 next to the amphitheatre; however, storms gravely damaged nearly all of dogwoods. The new memorial will have 19 different types of dogwoods that will bloom from early spring through May. Each tree variety will be labeled. Plus, there will be an educational component to the memorial showing which dogwoods grow best in the Paducah area. On April 19 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. the community is invited as an Arbor Day celebration to help plant the dogwoods and perennials in the Children’s Memorial Garden.
The Mayor and Commissioners approved an ordinance for a $188,466 contract with Murtco of Paducah for the construction of a spray pad at Noble Park Pool to replace the leaking baby pool. This is the final phase in the renovation of the pool area. Three bids were received for this phase with Murtco submitting the lowest evaluated bid. The total cost for the Noble Park Pool renovation project is $1,172,000. The swimming pool renovation will be completed and ready for the public’s use by the Memorial Day weekend. Parks Services Director Mark Thompson says, “It looks like we are right on time with the project to be complete by mid-May.” Separating the project into three bid packages and utilizing City staff for a portion of the demolition has resulted in a reduction in costs. The Noble Park Pool has not received a significant renovation since 1992. The first phase was approved last November with a $795,930 contract with Aquatic Renovation Systems, Inc. (RenoSys Corporation) with the work including the pool liner, replacement of the gutter, drain, filtration, disinfection, pumping, and piping systems in addition to a new treatment and storage building, concrete improvements, and the installation of new diving boards and platforms, a water slide, and a pool lift. The second phase of the project was approved last December for the renovation of the concession area and the inclusion of hot water to each of the restrooms. Midstates Construction of Paducah received that contract for $139,607.
The Mayor and Commissioners approved an ordinance for an inter-local agreement between the City of Paducah and McCracken County to establish a financing plan for the project which includes the construction of a facility in Paducah Commerce Park (formerly Information Age Park). The facility will be leased by TeleTech Services Corporation as a customer care call center. The City of Paducah and the County are each providing $1.35 million toward the project with Paducah Economic Development providing $300,000. All of the funds will be placed in a construction fund with City Manager, Jeff Pederson, as the project manager. TeleTech plans to bring to Paducah a customer care call center and employ 450 full-time employees with benefits. Following building renovations, approximately 150 employees would be at the Commerce Center on Kentucky Avenue while 300 employees would be stationed in the facility to be constructed in the Paducah Commerce Park. The jobs would have a minimum salary of $9.50 per hour.
• Mayor Gayle Kaler presented a Duke of Paducah to Dr. Greg Ross, the principal at McNabb Elementary.
• Municipal order NOT approved regarding the request from Hultman to waive the penalty and interest for a late employee payroll tax payment totaling $215.79.
• Municipal orders approved for the Section 8 Housing Program including the annual Administrative Plan and the Annual Plan for the Housing Choice Voucher Program. A municipal order also was approved adopting the revisions to the Section 8 Housing Utility Allowances. For the utility allowances effective May 1, Section 8 residents will notice a 21.7% decrease in natural gas, 2.3% increase in sewer, 0.373% decrease in propane, and a blended rate of 3.74% increase in electricity charges.
• Municipal order approved amending a 2004 municipal order establishing guidelines for providing economic incentives to qualified project locating within the City of Paducah. The amendment excludes customer call centers and warehousing facilities from meeting the wage requirement for funding from the Kentucky Industrial Development Authority. The amendment states, “This minimum wage requirement shall not apply to customer care (call) centers or warehousing facilities provided that an acceptable wage or annual payroll commitment is made by the project company by agreement with the City of Paducah or Paducah Economic Development Corporation.”
• Ordinance approved accepting the final plat and right-of-way and public utility easements for the Greenway Village Subdivision Phase I. This rental unit complex is being built by Higdon Development off County Park Drive next to the Greenway Trail and Stuart Nelson Park. The Planning Commission approved the final subdivision plan on March 4, 2013.
• Ordinance approved amending Chapter 122 of the Code of Ordinances pertaining to Vehicles Drawn by Animals. The main amendment is to allow up to five separate permitted vendors to operate animal-drawn carriage businesses on routes approved by the Traffic Commission.
• Ordinance approved accepting the bid from Bluegrass Fire Equipment Company, Inc. as the vendor and Pierce Manufacturing, Inc. as the manufacturer for the purchase of two triple combination pumper trucks for use by the Fire Department. The total bid is $863,588 for both trucks; however, the City will receive a $31,234 discount if the City prepays for the cost of the trucks upon acceptance of the contract. It will be 6-7 months before the new trucks are delivered.
• Ordinance approved to purchase a new TYMCO, Inc. street sweeper from Stringfellow, Inc. for $180,576 utilizing the State contract.
• Ordinance approved to close a portion the alley from Caldwell Street to Norton Street located between South 9th and Walter Jetton Boulevard.
• Mayor Kaler announced that Governor Beshear will be at the Commerce Center Thursday at 1 p.m. for a groundbreaking ceremony for TeleTech.
Information provided by Pam Spencer
Photo provided by SurfKY Graphics
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