PADUCAH, Ky. (6/25/13) – The following are the highlights of Paducah City Commission meeting held on Tuesday, June 25, 2013.
After meeting in executive session with City Attorney David Denton, the Mayor and Commissioners explained that a new proposal was submitted to them today by muralist Robert Dafford. Dafford submitted a proposal to provide restoration work on three of the City’s murals for $19,800. Denton says, “Mr. Dafford is the creator, the originator, the designer of the art. The law gives preference to the creating artist to maintain his own work.” Mayor Gayle Kaler talked with Dafford today and says he plans to come to Paducah for the restoration work. Since the proposal is less than $20,000, under the City’s procurement procedures, City Manager Jeff Pederson can sign the contract with Dafford without further action from the City Commission. Artist Jeff Spicer who helped initiate the petition calling for local artists to maintain the murals says in support of Dafford, “I think we all respect the right of an artist to maintain their own work.” Spicer adds that he and other artists have been able to learn more about copyright laws and VARA (the Visual Rights Act of 1990). The ordinance for a contract in the amount of $24,800 with artist Herb Roe associated with Dafford that was introduced at the June 11 meeting was tabled. For the future Denton says, “We want to get in place a procedure on how to maintain the murals according to the law with a qualified artist.” Mayor Kaler also invited local artists to attend a quarterly meeting that she has initiated with various arts and cultural organizations. The next meeting will be July 3 at 1:30 p.m. in the basement of City Hall.
The Mayor and Commissioners approved an ordinance for the Fiscal Year 2014 City Budget. The City’s fiscal year begins July 1. A budget workshop was held May 28. The majority of the City’s budget is in the general fund, the City’s main operating fund. The general fund is $31.2 million. The four main sources of revenue for the General Fund are payroll tax, insurance premium tax, business license tax, and property tax. Mayor Kaler says, “The majority goes to our personnel, the boots on the ground, who keep our city safe and keep us moving.” The City operates its finances through several funds including the general fund, investment fund, police and fire pension fund, solid waste fund, fleet lease trust fund, and health insurance trust fund. Each department prepared their budgets for the upcoming fiscal year using prior year’s allocations; however, that proved to be increasingly challenging due to increasing costs outpacing the growth in revenue.
One of Paducah Renaissance Alliance’s (PRA) goals has been to restore the historic Columbia Theatre on Broadway. The City of Paducah has owned the Columbia Theatre for nearly 10 years. Mayor Kaler says, “It was gifted to us, and we have a responsibility for it.” The theatre was built in 1927. Currently, the City is working to restore the marquee lighting and the front entrance doors. Plus, a preliminary environmental assessment has been completed. PRA Board Member Randy Davis outlined all the work that has been donated by various community partners including Ray Black & Son and Crown Electric. He says that Columbia Club, the 501(c)(3) associated with PRA, is working to develop a mission statement, a frequently asked questions document, and a website in addition to updating the Columbia Theatre’s Facebook page. The next step is to develop a concept study that would include drawings of the existing facility, workshops with potential users and stakeholders to determine the intended uses for the theatre, the development of programs and planning concepts for the potential future uses of the facility along with cost estimates. The Mayor and Commissioners approved an ordinance to engage Westlake, Reed, and Leskosky of Cleveland, Ohio to complete the concept study for the Columbia and allocate $33,000 for the plan and reimbursable expenses.
The Mayor and Commissioners introduced an ordinance to change the zoning for 5178, 5184, and 5186 Hinkleville Road from R-1 (low density residential zone) and MU (mixed use zone) to HBD (highway business district). These addresses are the locations for Concord United Methodist Church, Concord Elementary School, and Olivet Baptist Church. The City is initiating the zoning change with the support of the property owners. Changing the zoning to HBD allows for building or parking expansions to occur without the need for a Conditional Use Permit. The Conditional Use process can be lengthy but is a requirement in a R-1 zone for churches and schools. The Planning Commission held a public hearing regarding the proposed zone change on June 17, 2013 and made a positive recommendation to the City Commission. The City’s Comprehensive Plan agrees with the proposed zone change as it shows the area in a future land use map zoned as commercial.
The Mayor and Commissioners introduced an ordinance to pay Jones Excavation $21,000 for the emergency remediation work to stabilize 318-324 Broadway otherwise known as the Kresge Building. The Paducah Fire Prevention Division hired Jones Excavation to remove the debris, ceilings, etc. from the northeast corner of the building and shore up the windows. Work began June 3 and has been completed. Fire Prevention initiated the work due to public safety concerns since the northeast corner is the location of a partial roof collapse. The remediation removes much of the debris and eliminates the danger of additional debris falling toward Broadway which could spill out onto the sidewalk or street. The front wall of the building was reinforced with cables as instructed by a structural engineer. The City continues to work with the property owner on the future of the building.
• Boards and Commissions: Tracy Jones appointed to Board of Adjustment; and Shirley Lanier reappointed to Paducah-McCracken County Senior Citizens Board.
• Municipal order approved to amend the Position and Pay Schedule to reflect a few alignment and title changes and the following wage adjustments: FOP 2.5%; IAFF 2.5 %; AFSCME 1.5%; and non-bargaining employees 2.5%.
• Municipal order approved to apply for a Kentucky Office of Homeland Security grant in the amount of $65,000. If approved the funds would be used to purchase hand-held radios for the Paducah Police Department. No local match is required.
• Ordinance approved accepting a grant award in the amount of $40,500 from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Office of Highway Safety. The funds will be used by the Paducah Police Department for traffic enforcement activities.
• Ordinance approved accepting the $134,750 bid from Jim Steele Construction for the construction of a home at 1330 Madison Street. This will be the fourth home to be built in the Fountain Avenue Neighborhood as part of the 2012 Kentucky Housing Commission HOME grant. Grant funds have been allocated for seven homes.
• Ordinance introduced (vote July 2) to amend Chapter 18 of the Paducah Code of Ordinances regarding buildings and building regulations. The State has asked all cities to amend their local ordinances to delete the adoption of the National Electric Code, International Basic Energy Conservation Code, and the International Basic Mechanical Code to eliminate any conflicts within the code. The amendment makes Paducah’s code align with the Kentucky Building Code and the Kentucky Residential Code.
Information provided by Pam Spencer
Photo provided by SurfKY Graphics
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