PADUCAH, Ky. (5/15/14) — Here are the highlights from the Paducah City Commission meeting Tuesday May 13, 2014:
Refinancing 2010 Build America Bond Issue (vote May 20)
The Commissioners introduced an ordinance to refinance the 2010 Build America Bonds general obligation bonds originally issued in March 2010. At that time, the City issued a 20-year $6.645 million bond with the funds used to finance various public projects including the Greenway trail, the replacement of the Noble Park parking lot, street resurfacing, the installation of generators and traffic signals, and the purchase of the Executive Inn, pavilion, and property on Sheehan Bridge Road. Refinancing the bond will save the City an estimated $210,000 in interest over the life of the loan. City Manager Jeff Pederson says, “It’s always good when we can refinance and save taxpayers the interest costs.” At this time, the remaining principal on the bond is approximately $5.765 million. The bonds will be sold May 27, 2014. A municipal order was approved authorizing the advertising for the sale of the bonds.
Olivet Church Roadway Improvement Project (vote May 20)
The Commissioners introduced ordinances for reimbursement agreements between the City and Paducah Power System and between the City and the Joint Sewer Agency for utility work related to the Olivet Church Road Improvement Project. The electric utility work is estimated to cost $225,000 while the sewer relocation work is estimated to cost $304,240. The property acquisition and utility relocations are funded using $2 million allocated from the State. City Engineer-Public Works Director Rick Murphy says, “The utility relocations are getting underway. Paducah Power already has pole locations marked.” The project widens Olivet Church Road from a two-lane road to a three-lane road from U.S. 60 to James Sanders Boulevard. The project also involves the construction of a new stretch of road from the mall entrance toward Olivet Church Road. The Commissioners also approved a municipal order for the acquisition of right-of-way and a public utility easement at 3400 Olivet Church Road from Stephen and Marilee Wilks in the amount of $3400 utilizing State funds. Murphy says there are six remaining parcels, many quite small in size, that need to be acquired for the project.
Abolish Main Street Department and PRA Advisory Board and create Main Street Board of Directors
The Commissioners approved an ordinance abolishing the City of Paducah Main Street Department and the Paducah Renaissance Alliance Advisory Board and creating a Main Street Board of Directors. In December 2013, City Manager Jeff Pederson made a presentation to the Mayor and Commissioners about the reorganization of the City’s Main Street Department, also referred to as PRA, with the goal of spending limited resources more effectively. At that time, the executive director had resigned, and the department was undergoing a transition period in staffing. Since December, the City has created two new positions and reorganized responsibilities. The Parks Department hired Molly Tomasallo as a Special Events Coordinator with the responsibility of planning and coordinating all major events and activities sponsored or conducted by the City including the Farmers’ Market. Melinda Winchester is the City’s Downtown Development Specialist housed in the Planning Department. Winchester promotes and administers financial assistance programs such as the roof stabilization program, recruits businesses, and is a liaison between associations, stakeholders, and the Main Street Advisory Board. The Main Street Board of Directors, a board of five citizens, will have the responsibility of assisting with the Main Street accreditation process, coordinating with Winchester in promoting the four-point Main Street approach, participating in planning and awareness campaigns, and forming citizen and volunteer committees as necessary. The Main Street Board of Directors will be appointed at an upcoming meeting. Winchester currently is meeting with stakeholders and updating the Paducah Main Street’s logo, website, newsletter, and social media presence.
Repeal Fountain Avenue Enhanced Standards
The Commissioners approved an ordinance to repeal Section 42-46(c) of the Paducah Code of Ordinances regarding enhanced standards for the Fountain Avenue Neighborhood Revitalization Project. The enhanced standards were adopted in 2006 to bolster the project. The project has been successful over the past eight years with 62 homes undergoing rehabilitation in excess of $50,000 and 22 new homes that have been constructed in the neighborhood. The Planning Department hopes that lifting the enhanced standards will encourage even more investment by existing property owners and developers. With the repeal of the enhanced standards, all one and two-family dwellings will fall under the same Residential Code currently adopted by the City of Paducah. The Fountain Avenue Neighborhood will continue to fall under the design guidelines accepted for the Fountain Avenue Neighborhood Services Zone. Planning Director Steve Ervin says that exterior features such as new roofs still will need to be submitted to and approved by HARC (Historic & Architectural Review Commission).
- Marty Bendick appointed to the Civil Service Commission.
- Municipal order approved to apply for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Accountability Grant in the amount of $13,117 to purchase five mobile radios for police cruisers.
- Municipal order approved to apply for $200,000 from the Delta Regional Authority’s States Economic Development Assistance Program. If approved, the funds would be used by the Planning Department for the roof stabilization program and other financial assistance for the redevelopment of downtown historic buildings for commercial use. The grant requires a 10 percent local match.
- Ordinance approved accepting the grant funding in the amount of $21,000 from the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety. The funds will be used to continue to present the “Heads Up Don’t be In’text’icated” program the Police Department offers with the help of Hillary Coltharp who was seriously injured in 2007 in a collision caused by her texting while driving. No local cash match is required. This program has been presented to at least 4000 people.
- Ordinance approved amending Chapter 126-76 Sign Regulations of the Paducah Code of Ordinances to reflect that event banners over Broadway, Broadway pole banners, Jefferson Street pole banners, and Lowertown pole banner will be coordinated and permitted by the Parks Department rather than the Planning Department.
- Ordinance approved for an intent to annex the 4.9 acre tract that contains the Hucks Food and Fuel located at 3025 Olivet Church Road. The property owner requested the annexation. The next step is for the Planning Commission to hold a public hearing to assign zoning.
- Ordinance approved amending the annexation ordinance originally adopted in 2002 by adding a set time of ten years that the City will reimburse a developer. The amount being reimbursed will not exceed the total cost of the construction of qualified municipal facilities (streets, gutters, and other public infrastructure) or the total sum of all ad valorem real property taxes collected from the development property, whichever is less, over a ten year period.
- Ordinance approved amending the infill development ordinance originally adopted in 2005 by adding a set time of ten years that the City will reimburse a developer. The amount being reimbursed will not exceed the total cost of the construction of qualified municipal facilities (streets, gutters, and other public infrastructure) or the total sum of all ad valorem real property taxes collected from the development property, whichever is less, over a ten year period.
- Ordinance approved for a six month construction line of credit extension with Banterra Bank in the amount of $350,000 for the Fountain Avenue Neighborhood Project. The funds have been used to build six new single family structures. As each home is sold, the borrowed money plus interest is paid back to Banterra Bank by the new homeowner. Before construction begins on each home, the City is required to have a pre-qualified buyer.
- Ordinance introduced (vote May 20) authorizing the payment in the amount of $23,065.40 to AES Environmental, LLC for the collection and disposal of household hazardous waste collected during the April 2014 Spring Clean Up Day. A $27,000 Kentucky Division of Waste Management Grant helps fund the annual clean up day for Paducah and McCracken County residents.
- Ordinance introduced (vote May 20) to close a portion of Ridgewood Street between Topeka Avenue and Olympia Avenue. This closure is requested by adjacent property owners. The Paducah Planning Commission held a public hearing on February 17, 2014 and is making a positive recommendation for the closure. This is an unimproved, unpaved section of right-of-way.
- City Manager Jeff Pederson reminded everyone about the LowerTown Arts & Music festival that will be held this Friday and Saturday. He says the City is a major sponsor of the event providing $15,000 in cash funds and approximately $40,000 in in-kind services.
- A presentation will be made at next Tuesday’s Commission meeting by Marcum Engineering and Bacon, Farmer & Workman Engineering and Testing regarding their analysis of City Hall. Pederson says, “City Hall is a 50-year-old building that has had very little reinvestment in it.”
Information provided by Pam Spencer
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