PADUCAH, Ky. (5/1/13) – The following are the highlights of Paducah City Commission meeting held on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.
Barkley Regional Airport Manager Richard Roof updated the Mayor and Commissioners regarding the recent furloughs imposed on air traffic controllers as a consequence of the federal budget cuts known as the sequester. Last week, Congress approved legislation allowing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to withdraw the furloughs. However, the legislation does not mandate that the 149 contract towers including Barkley Regional Airport remain open. Roof says U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has been contacted regarding the request to keep the contract towers open. At this time, Roof doesn’t know if Barkley’s tower and its six employees will be operating past June 15.
The Mayor and Commissioners approved a municipal order for a contract for auction services with Chris Colson Auction and Realty Company, LLC for the sale of the city-owned property located at 1105 Sheehan Bridge Road. The auction of the property is tentatively scheduled for June 4. The auction will be an absolute auction as opposed to a reserve auction which imposes a price below which the property could not be sold. Colson says, “An absolute auction generates a lot excitement and anticipation in a competitive bidding environment.” Colson adds, “An absolute auction will generate the most money. I want my name to say that I made the City money.” Colson plans to spend approximately $10,000 marketing and advertising the property. The buyer’s premium will be ten percent. This is the additional charge that the buyer will pay on top of a bid. Seven percent of the buyer’s premium is compensation for the auction services with the remaining three percent retained by the City. The City Commission approved the purchase of the 174 acre property on December 15, 2009 with the plan to construct a sports complex with the support of private fundraising. The site is no longer being considered as a sports park leading to the property being declared as surplus.
The Mayor and Commissioners approved an ordinance for a contract with Jim Smith Contracting Company, LLC of Grand Rivers, Kentucky in the amount of $2,588,465.78 for the Ohio River Boat Launch Project. The ordinance was approved by a 4-1 vote with Commissioner Allan Rhodes voting against the project. Rhodes says, “I have a problem with this ordinance. The cost is more than the grant.” The City has a Federal Highway Administration grant in the amount of $2,254,100 for the project. The remaining funds will be allocated from the City’s current year MAP funds (State municipal aid program for funding road projects) and next year’s Investment Fund budget. The project 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. To reduce the cost, a row of parking has been removed from the project. Instead of 108 parking stalls, the facility will have 80 parking stalls. Work is expected to begin in May. The contractor will have 120 days to complete the project.
The Mayor and Commissioners approved an ordinance for a contract with MAC Construction & Excavation, Inc. of New Albany, Indiana in the amount of $4,490,600 for the construction of Riverfront Redevelopment Project Phase 1-A, Piles and Mass Fill. The ordinance was approved by a 4-1 vote with Commissioner Allan Rhodes voting against the project. Rhodes expressed his concerns over the cost of the project and the unknown factors such as how much the mass fill will settle and how many boaters will visit Paducah’s riverfront. This project, also called the breakwater or bump-out, 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. The Engineering-Public Works Department received sealed bids for the project on April 4. 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. The City of Paducah commenced competitive negotiations with the bidders on April 15 to reduce the cost. Changing the size of the stone used in the project and reducing the size of the piles greatly reduced the project cost. The majority of the project is funded by a $2.97 million Neighborhood Initiative Project Grant by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. City Manager Jeff Pederson recommends funding the $1.42 million shortfall from proceeds from the sale of the city-owned property on Sheehan Bridge Road in addition to funds from either an upcoming bond or from the general fund reserve. Since 2008, the City has invested $1.26 million in this project including engineering design, legal fees, and mussel relocation costs.
Parks Services Department Director Mark Thompson updated the Mayor and Commissioners on the Noble Park Pool renovation project. The new double slide is being installed this week. The pool is scheduled to open May 25. However, at this time there is the possibility that the spraypad which replaces the baby pool won’t be ready at the same time as the rest of the pool project. The opening of the spraypad may be delayed by one to three weeks due to a delay in receiving some of the mechanical parts necessary for the treatment and pumping components. Within the next couple of weeks, the opening date will be able to be determined. The total cost for the Noble Park Pool renovation project is $1,172,000. The Noble Park Pool has not received a significant renovation since 1992.
• Ordinance approved for a $5312.50 amendment to the engineering design agreement with Florence & Hutchison for the greenway trail project that will link the concrete trail just east of U.S. 45 (North 8th Street) to Noble Park. The agreement increase is due to further research of engineering design alternatives regarding the design of a pedestrian underpass versus an at-grade crossing or an overpass for the trail crossing at U.S. 45.
• Ordinance approved authorizing the closing of a portion of South 4th Street and Woodward Street at the intersection of Wayne Sullivan Drive.
• Commissioner Richard Abraham recently attended the spring conference for KBC-LEO (Kentucky Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials) in Owensboro. While at the conference he boasted about Paducah’s successful AQS QuiltWeek. One of the topics discussed at the conference was the Kentucky Work Ready Certification which is being pursued by Paducah-McCracken County.
Information provided by Pam Spencer
Photo provided by SurfKY Graphics
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