City Commission Highlights - November 26, 2019

Note:  Commissioner Gerald Watkins was unable to attend this meeting.

Actions Related to Indoor Recreation and Aquatic Center

The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved two ordinances (by a 3 to 1 vote with Commissioner Richard Abraham voting no on each ordinance) related to the development of the indoor recreation and aquatic center, an item listed in the City’s Strategic Plan as a WIN (What’s Important Now) initiative.  The design of this indoor facility which would be located at Noble Park is underway.  After a bidding process next spring, construction is anticipated to begin in late summer or early fall 2020.   

  • The first ordinance approved amends Paducah Code of Ordinances Section 106-126 to raise the City’s Insurance Premium Tax from 6% to 7% effective July 1, 2020.  The City will begin receiving this additional revenue in October 2020.  This 1% increase is estimated to generate approximately $700,000 in annual revenue.  These funds will be placed toward the annual debt service associated with the 2020A Bond Issue for the indoor recreation and aquatic facility’s construction.  This increase in the insurance premium tax will not fund the entire bond payment.  The bond is structured so that the City only pays the interest until other debt obligations retire beginning in 2023 making additional funds available. 
  • The second ordinance approved authorizes the issuance of General Obligation Bond, Series 2020A in the amount of $22 million for the indoor recreation and aquatic center to include the costs of constructing and equipping the facility.  This is a 20-year bond.

 

Amend Chapter 14 in Code of Ordinances Related to Dogs at Special Events

The Paducah Board of Commissioners voted to table the second reading of the ordinance with amendments to Chapter 14 in the Paducah Code of Ordinances related to dogs at special events since Commissioner Gerald Watkins was unable to attend this meeting and since he initiated the proposed amendments.  The Board also expressed interest in continuing discussions on this topic and gathering input from the Health Department, Police Department, Parks & Recreation Department, and local veterinarians. 

 

Accepting Credit/Debit Cards and Echeck Payments

The City is working through several phases of upgrading the software systems that run many aspects of Paducah City government.  The Munis Project aims to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of internal and external customer service and business processes.  One of the new features is the ability to accept credit/debit card and electronic check payments. Services for electronic payment processing will include paying occupational license fees, property taxes, and permits.  The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance authorizing the implementation of services fees associated with the use of credit cards, debit cards and echeck payment processing.  This ordinance will provide for the appropriate service fee associated with processing the payment to be passed along to the customer.  The service fee shall not exceed 4% for debit cards and credit cards or $1.50 for echecks. This form of payment is voluntary, and the customer can avoid paying the service fee by using other forms of payment.  

 

Discussion Related to Amending Chapter 42 of Paducah’s Code Related to Junk Cars

Fire Chief Steve Kyle and Deputy Chief Greg Cherry discussed with the Paducah Board of Commissioners amending Paducah Code of Ordinances Chapter 42 related to abandoned, junk, and inoperable vehicles.  The proposed amendments include definitions for apparently abandoned, apparently inoperable, and junk vehicles.  The proposed amendments also include a section about vehicle owners who comply with the removal of a junk vehicle within the specified timeframe.  It also outlines the circumstances and procedure in which a junk motor vehicle would be towed at the owner’s expense.  

 

Shift Workshop Project Presentations

The City of Paducah hosted a three-day Shift Workshop in early November bringing together creative and business professionals to collaborate and create project plans that could enhance and grow Paducah’s economy.  The Shift Workshop is a program through the AIR Institute of Berea College in partnership with the Kentucky Arts Council.  Thirteen citizens participated with two projects drafted.  At this meeting, an overview of each of the two projects was presented to the Board of Commissioners. 

Arts in the Park focuses on local art organizations providing youth programming such as painting, music, and theater at a different park each weekend next July. The Kentucky Arts Council committed to providing $4200 in funding for this project.

Pockets in Paducah would work to enhance vacant lots by creative pocket parks that can be used as creative spaces which could include community gardens, sculpture and zen gardens, and playground areas. The Kentucky Arts Council committed to $800 in funding which would be used to help the organizers engage a Kentucky Arts Council consultant to help fully develop the project plan and budget. 

 

Paducah Civic Beautification Board Annual Business Awards

The Paducah Civic Beautification Board presented Annual Business Awards to nine businesses.  The businesses recognized for renovating or improving their exterior and/or landscaping are

  • The Johnson Bar (133 S. 3rd Street)
  • HB & Company (3128 Broadway)
  • The Belle Louise Historic Guest House (304 North 6th Street)
  • The Respite Bed & Breakfast (502 North 5th Street)
  • Slim’s Frenchtown Mercantile (125 N. 11th Street)
  • Paducah Power System (1500 Broadway)
  • Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau (128 Broadway)
  • Branch Out (713 Kentucky Avenue)
  • Paducah City Hall (300 South 5th Street)

 To see previous award recipients, visit  http://paducahky.gov/annual-business-award.

 

Update from National Quilt Museum

National Quilt Museum Chief Executive Officer Frank Bennett provided an update on the Museum’s attendance and local economic impact.  He said the Museum has three basic types of visitors: front desk admission visitors, workshop and event attendees, and attendees to free programs including various youth activities.  The National Quilt Museum has international appeal and receives visitors from more than 40 countries each year.  Each visitor spends an average of $300 to 400 dollars in Paducah.  Bennett also said the Museum has had a 52% growth in admissions in eight years with 34,150 front desk admission visitors in 2018.  

 

Quick Highlights

  • The following new employees were introduced to the Paducah Board of Commissioners: Customer Experience Representatives Alexandra Sherwood and Justin Warmath.
  • Boards and Commissions:
    • Lorraine Schramke reappointed to the Planning Commission
    • Valerie Pollard appointed to the Planning Commission
    • David Barnett appointed to the Board of Ethics
    • Ania Lasota to the Paducah Civic Beautification Board
    • William Cox, Bill Pinkston, and Neel Carroll reappointed to the Brooks Stadium Commission.
  • Municipal order approved to accept the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security grant in the amount of $442,181.76 for an EOD robot for the Paducah Police Department’s Bomb Squad.  This grant does not require a match.
  • Municipal order approved authorizing the renewal application for local expanded jurisdiction between the City of Paducah and the Kentucky Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction which specifies the enforcement responsibilities of the City government and those of the State.
  • Municipal order approved to submit a grant application requesting $100,320 from the National Park Service’s African-American Civil Rights Preservation Project on behalf of the Hotel Metropolitan.  This grant does not require a match.
  • Municipal order approved to submit a Save America’s Treasures grant application requesting $200,000 which, if awarded, would be used to repair the front façade of the Columbia Theatre on Broadway.  This grant requires an equal match of cash or in-kind services which will be provided by the Paducah Arthouse Alliance.
  • Municipal order approved authorizing the purchase and installation of a security system for City Hall in the amount of $38,910.23 from System Solutions.  The security system will include key fob entries, security cameras, electronic locks, and the hardware and software systems to support them.
  • Municipal order approved for the Memorandum of Agreement with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to accept $650,000 in funds for the South 25th Street improvement project. 
  • Ordinance approved for Contract Amendment #2 with HDR Engineering, Inc. for the Greenway Trail Phase IV project.  This change order increases the contract amount by $46,689 resulting in a new contract amount of $134,189.
  • Ordinance introduced (vote December 10) to close a portion of the alley between 600 and 606 Broadway, 105 and 111 South 6th Street, and 603 Kentucky Avenue.

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