City Commission Meeting Highlights, April 10, 2018

Amend Smoking Ordinance to Create Comprehensive Smoke-Free Policy

By a 4-1 vote with Commissioner Richard Abraham voting no, the Paducah Board of Commissioners approved amending Paducah’s smoking ordinance to make it a comprehensive smoke-free policy (Chapter 54, Article II, Division 2 of the Paducah Code of Ordinances).  Mayor Harless said, “This [ordinance] is based on evidence that these types of ordinances make an impact on the smoking rates.”

Before the vote, Mayor Harless asked for public comments.  Four people spoke in favor of the ordinance.  Two people said the ordinance was over reaching with government reaching too far into private lives.

Also prior to the vote on the ordinance, Commissioner Richard Abraham requested amendments that would eliminate the section relating to the non-mandatory enforcement by citizens.  Plus, he wanted amendments that would exempt outdoor walking trails, shelters, and golf courses from the places where smoking would be prohibited.  Commissioner Abraham still wanted the prohibition of smoking in outdoors sports arenas, playgrounds, swimming pools, spraygrounds, and health parks.  Mayor Harless called for a vote on Commissioner Abraham’s amendments.  They were not adopted with Commissioner Abraham as the only member of the Board to vote for them.

The newly adopted ordinance continues the prohibition of smoking in enclosed public places and extends the prohibition to all places of employment, whether public or private.  The following locations are exceptions:  private vehicles, retail tobacco stores, designated workplaces pursuant to KRS 61.165, private organizations or clubs, and private dwellings unless the dwelling also is used as a childcare facility, adult day care center, assisted living facility, hotel/motel guest room, or health care facility.

This amended ordinance also prohibits smoking in municipal and school-owned outdoor sports arenas and amphitheaters, public or private owned outdoor playgrounds, shelters, swimming pools, and spray-grounds, and municipally-owned outdoor public parks, playgrounds, trails, shelters, swimming pools, and spray-grounds.  The outdoor area at Paxton Park Golf Course is an exception.

The definition of smoking now includes the use of electronic or oral smoking devices.  The definition of place of employment has been amended to be defined as an enclosed area under the control of a public or private employer, including, but not limited to, work areas, private offices, employee lounges, restrooms, conference rooms, meeting rooms, classrooms, employee cafeterias, hallways, common area, construction sites, and temporary offices.  A private residence is not a place of employment unless it is used as a childcare facility, adult day care center, assisted living facility, hotel/motel guest room, or health care facility.

Additionally, smoking now is prohibited in City-owned vehicles, and each city vehicle is required to have one no-smoking sign.

Paducah adopted a smoking ordinance in 2006.  Members of the McCracken County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy (ASAP) have been working since 2016 to educate the community about amending the City’s ordinance to make it more of a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance.  Presentations by the group were given in 2017 at the August 8 and December 19 City Commission meetings.

Strategic Plan Introduction

Mayor Brandi Harless introduced to the Board a draft strategic plan for the City of Paducah that includes updated vision, mission, and values statements.  The proposed vision statement is as follows:  Paducah is a city where people strive to reach their full potential through lifelong learning, creativity, culture, and compassion for one another.  She also provided an overview of eight key performance areas.  The key performance areas are

  • Maintain high level of safety for all
  • Develop healthy and sustainable neighborhoods
  • Maintain thoughtful and modern infrastructure
  • Provide open, smart, and engaged government
  • Enhance arts, culture, and tourism
  • Empower upward economic mobility for all
  • Provide excellent recreation experiences for all ages and abilities
  • Celebrate a diverse community.

Numerous draft objectives are listed under each key performance area.  The discussion on the strategic plan will continue at an upcoming Commission meeting.  

Approve Contract for Pump Station #2 Construction

The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance authorizing a contract with Huffman Construction in the amount of $4.947 million for the rehabilitation of Floodwall Pump Station #2.  Bids were opened February 23 with two bids received; Huffman provided the lowest evaluated bid.  This bid amount was more than $400,000 lower than the engineer’s construction estimate.

Floodwall Pump Station #2 located at 1416 North 6th Street is in critical need of rehabilitation.  The rehabilitation of Pump Station #2 includes the replacement of discharge pipes, the rehabilitation of various mechanical components of all seven pumps and motors not previously repaired, and the replacement of the sluice gate.  Pump Station #2 has the largest pumping capacity of 313,000 gallons per minute.  Since it’s the first station to be activated at a local river stage of 27.5 feet, it receives the most wear-and-tear. 

Regarding funding for this project, the City has $1.4 million in grant funds which includes a $1 million Community Development Block Grant and $400,000 from Delta Regional Authority.  To fund the rest of the project, the City has applied for a Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan through the Kentucky Energy & Environment Cabinet and Kentucky Infrastructure Authority.   The loan has a low interest rate.

The rehabilitation of Pump Station #2 also is part of the larger Floodwall Rehabilitation project currently underway with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  The Floodwall Rehabilitation project includes rehabilitation of all pump stations, flap gates, seal closures, gate wells, I-walls, toe drains, I-wall investigation, and a new Pump Station #14.

Ordinances Regarding E911 System

The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved three ordinances related to the significant upgrade of the capabilities and equipment used by the E911 Communications Services Department. 

  • Contract with Tyler Technologies/New World for the purchase and installation of a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system in the amount of $916,282.  This upgrade project will take 12 to 18 months.
  • Contract with Equature for the purchase and installation of a Logging Recorder system in the amount of $261,699.  This is the hardware and software component of 911 that records all the communications center telephone conversations and radio transmissions.
  • Contract with Xybix for the purchase and installation of dispatch workstation furniture in the amount of $69,018.30.

The Board also introduced a fourth ordinance (vote April 24) to amend the original consulting agreement with Federal Engineering.  The original agreement was approved in August 2016 to provide professional consulting for the 911 upgrade project.  This ordinance is to approve amendments to the contract since 2016 and to approve additional funds to Federal Engineering for implementation support through the 12 to 18 month installation period for the new computer aided dispatch system, logging recorder, and records management system.   

Opioid Crisis in Kentucky Presentation #3

The Paducah Board of Commissioners heard the third presentation in a series of presentations regarding the opioid crisis.  At this meeting, Dr. Sean McDonald with the IMAC Regeneration Center, explained that IMAC focuses on regenerative rehabilitation to repair damage and disease without the use of opioids.  This process uses stem cells and platelets in combination with physical therapy and chiropractic techniques.

At the March 13 meeting, Phillip Chang, M.D., chief medical officer at University of Kentucky HealthCare, talked about an opioid stewardship program aimed at reducing inappropriate prescriptions for opioids.  At the March 27 meeting,   President/Chief Executive Officer Terry Hudspeth of Four Rivers Behavioral Health and Elizabeth Fleming from the Center for Specialized Addiction Services discussed substance abuse services at Four Rivers including the COR-12 program which is an opiate-specific, medically assisted treatment program. 

Application for Recreation Trails Grant for Pedestrian Bridge

The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved the application through the Kentucky Department of Local Government for a federally funded Recreation Trails grant.  The grant request is for funds to purchase and install a pedestrian bridge over Perkins Creek that would connect the City’s Greenway Trail to the McCracken County trail adjacent to the soccer complex.  Signage also would be included in this project.

This proposed bridge would be approximately 110 feet long and 10 feet wide and would cross the creek just northwest of the Stuart Nelson ball fields.  The proposed bridge and approach would follow an old, abandoned rail bed of the Chicago, St. Louis, and New Orleans Railroad Company.  The proposed bridge would look similar to the bridge currently on the Greenway Trail near the disk golf course at Stuart Nelson Park. 

The City will serve as the grant applicant and enter into an interlocal agreement with McCracken County Fiscal Court. The grant request is for $100,000.  The City and County propose to provide an additional $30,000 each.  Furthermore, Four Rivers Nuclear Partnership (FRNP) has committed to donating $40,000 toward the bridge project.   Of that $40,000, two of FRNP’s subcontractors, Veolia and Geosyntec, are providing a total of $5,000 each.

Quick Highlights

  • McCracken County Circuit Judge Tim Kaltenbach conducted a swearing-in ceremony for Police Officer Matthew Strohmeier
  • Mayor Brandi Harless presented a proclamation to Frank Bennett, chief executive officer for the National Quilt Museum and to the members of the Yo Yo Club, proclaiming April 10 as Yo Yo Club Day to honor the Club’s contributions.  For more than 20 years, Yo Yo Club members demonstrated hand quilting in the lobby of the museum.  The Club also provided funds to local charities and non-profits through its fundraising efforts.
  • Carli Frederich, a senior at McCracken County High School and Kentucky’s representative for the American Legion Oratorical Competition, presented her speech to the Board.  She competes this Saturday.
  • Library Director Susan Baier announced that the McCracken County Public Library will be waiving late fines throughout the month of April.  It doesn’t matter how long the materials have been overdue.  Baier also announced that Systems and Web Services Librarian Zach Underwood is receiving the Kentucky Public Library Association’s 2018 Charlene Davis Excellence in Technology Award.  Underwood is being recognized for his technology and marketing initiatives for the library.  This is also National Libraries Week, and today is National Library Workers Day.  
  • Municipal order approved authorizing the application to the Kentucky Division of Waste Management for the Household Hazardous Waste grant.  This grant request is for $25,500 which if funded would be used to fund the annual Spring Clean Up Day.  The required match of $6375 would be divided equally between the city and county.  This year’s Spring Clean Up Day is set for Saturday, April 14 from 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.
  • Ordinance approved to close the alley between South 31st Street and Maple Avenue.  This alley closure was requested by adjacent property owners.  The Planning Commission held a public hearing February 19, 2018, and provided a positive recommendation to the City Commission for the closure.
  • Ordinance introduced (vote April 24) to terminate the easement between Four Rivers Behavioral Health and the City.  The City entered into an easement agreement in December 2006 which allowed the City to use the property’s parking lot located on Jefferson Street between 4th and 5th Streets after business hours for public parking during City events.  The easement is no longer necessary.
  • Ordinance introduced (vote April 24) to approve four change orders which result in a contract increase in the amount of $560.93 with Wilkins Construction for the completion of the first phase of the Pat & Jim Brockenborough Rotary Health Park.  This change order brings the total contract to $619,730.29.