Note: Due to the COVID-19 situation and the need to maintain social distancing, the meeting was not open to the public. Mayor Harless and Commissioner Wilson were in the Commission Chambers at City Hall. The other three elected officials participated by teleconferencing.
Emergency Response Stimulus and Relief for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 – Emergency Ordinance
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an emergency ordinance that contains several elements to combat the financial impact the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on local businesses. This emergency ordinance provides the following four elements:
- Small Business Relief Fund: Authorizes the Finance Director to appropriate $150,000 for the first round of applicants for the Small Business Relief Fund Program. City Manager Jim Arndt said, “The intent is to get money out to the businesses that need it the most to protect those businesses to make sure we keep them open.” Commissioner Gerald Watkins said, “I think this is a great opportunity for the City of Paducah to step up and try to alleviate some of the suffering and financial hardships some of our people are having to go through.” This Program is a partnership among the City of Paducah, West Kentucky Community & Technical College, and the Community Foundation of West Kentucky. Small for profit businesses, that are not a franchise or franchise-affiliated, with 25 or fewer employees and a brick-and-mortar presence within the Paducah city limits may be eligible to apply for the funds. During this first round of funding, the first 75 eligible businesses will receive grants of $2000 each. The Small Business Relief Fund Application which includes all of the guidelines will be available at 8 a.m. on April 1. Applications will be accepted through April 10 at 4:30 p.m. The funds must be used for expenses limited to rent, mortgage, payroll, and utilities. If you are a business and have questions about the application process, call the City of Paducah Planning Department at 270-444-8601. A second round of funding will be opened at a later date with funding based upon the amount of donations to the Community Foundation which will be matched by the City of Paducah up to $100,000. If you would like to donate to the Small Business Relief Fund, contact the Community Foundation of West Kentucky or call 270-442-8622. Commissioner Brenda McElroy said, “If your income is intact, I challenge you to give something. We are a very generous community.”
- Deadline Changed for Business License Tax Filing: Postpones the filing of the annual Gross Receipts License Tax (Business License Tax) to July 15, 2020, for calendar year filers. July 15 is the same deadline that has been adopted recently by the State of Kentucky and the Internal Revenue Service as a replacement to the April 15 deadline.
- Commercial Solid Waste Collection: Establishes a 50% price reduction for solid waste collection fees for commercial (non-residential) rollouts and commercial dumpsters. This fee reduction is in effect for commercial solid waste collection services during the months of April and May 2020. The City Manager is granted authority to extend this for two additional months as deemed necessary.
- Taxicab Driver’s License Renewal Waiver: Waives the renewal requirement for taxicab licenses until July 1, 2020. The City Manager is granted authority to extend this for two additional months as deemed necessary.
Buckner Lane Bridge Project Ordinances
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved two ordinances related to the Buckner Lane Bridge Project, a project listed in the Stormwater Master Plan. The first ordinance is for a budget amendment in the amount of $80,000. This amendment transfers funds into the project account. The second ordinance adopted is for a professional services contract with BFW Engineering & Testing, Inc. in the amount of $154,036 for engineering design services for project.
This bridge on Buckner Lane over Crooked Creek is located near the intersection with Buckner Lake Circle. It has been affected by flooding and severe weather events in 2018 and 2019. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has reviewed the bridge and rates it in poor condition with two wooden piles under the bridge experiencing 75 percent deterioration. The project will improve the roadway design in that location in addition to the replacement of the bridge.
Regarding funding, the City applied for Disaster Relief Funding from FEMA for the bridge project after flooding and severe weather events. FEMA has obligated nearly $330,000 for the project with the State providing nearly $53,000. The remaining engineering and construction costs will be handled by the City of Paducah.
Greenway Trail Phase V Construction Contract (vote April 14)
The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance for a contract with Jim Smith Contracting, LLC in the amount of $479,350.50 for the Greenway Trail Phase V Project which extends the Greenway Trail from Schultz Park to Jefferson Street. This Project is primarily funded with a Federal Highway Administration Transportation Enhancement Grant administered by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Office in the amount of $432,500. The grant requires a 20% City match which is being funded from the Boyles Trust Fund. Once the contractor receives the notice to proceed, this is a 150-calendar day project.
Professional Services Contract for BUILD Grant (vote April 14)
The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance for a professional services contract with BFW Engineering & Testing, Inc. in the amount of $250,000 for environmental assessment services for the Paducah Riverfront Infrastructure Improvement Project (BUILD Grant). In 2019, the City of Paducah was awarded the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Grant in the amount of $10.4 million. The City has a required match of $1.1 million. The environmental assessment portion of the project is not covered by the grant funding and is not included in the City's match.
The Paducah Riverfront Infrastructure Improvement Project includes an excursion pier and plaza, transient dock landing improvements, four intersection improvements, and a multi-use pathway. In order to execute a grant contract with MARAD (Maritime Administration), the City of Paducah must complete an Environmental Assessment to fulfill the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) requirements.
- Boards and Commissions:
- Appointment of Mary Katz, April Cochran, Steven Page, Cindy Ragland, and Shand Stamper to the Paducah Creative and Cultural Council.
- Appointment of Deborah Edmonds to the Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau.
- Reappointment of Paul King, Brad Arterburn, and Shirley Walker and appointment of Melissa Yates to the Forest Hills Village, Inc. Board.
- Municipal orders approved for the following five grants:
- KDLA Local Records Grant Program for the Paducah Police Department – requesting $33,529 to digitize 54 boxes of felony case files. No local match is required.
- 2019 Department of Justice Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant – receiving $4367.71 to purchase body armor for the Police Department. Requires a 50 percent local match.
- 2020-2021 Kentucky Hazardous Waste Grant application – requesting $25,500 for the 2021 Spring Clean Up Day. This grant requires a local match of 25 percent which is split between the City and County.
- KDLA Local Records Grant for City Clerk’s office – requesting $16,567 to digitize permanent documents. No local match is required.
- Kentucky Office of Homeland Security Grant – requesting $437,172.81 for radio upgrades for the Paducah Police Department. No local match is required.
- Municipal order approved for a contract amendment with Tyler Technologies, Inc. This amendment does not change the contract amount. It changes administrative items and the statement of work.
- Resolution approved authorizing the Engineering Project Manager to be the Applicant Agent for all FEMA and KYEM documentation required for Federal Disaster Assistance.
- Municipal order approved providing for compliance with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This Municipal Order provides eligible City employees two weeks of paid leave at their regular rate of pay who qualify for any of the approved reasons listed. Additionally, all eligible employees will have job-protection for 12-weeks for other reasons resulting from the COVID-19 epidemic.
- Ordinance approved for a $141,000 budget amendment to replace grounds equipment at Paxton Park.
- Ordinance approved for a professional services contract in the base fee amount of $39,000 with CBIZ Talent and Compensation Solutions for a personnel classification and compensation study which includes a financial impact study. The previous classification and compensation study was completed in 2011. To remain competitive in retaining and recruiting employees, this study will review all positions and pay and the City’s organizational structure.
- Ordinance introduced (vote April 14) for the closure of a portion of an alley between 160 and 200 Bruce Avenue as requested by the adjacent property owners.