City Commission Meeting Highlights - April 26, 2022

To view the entire meeting, visit https://youtu.be/g799b8ls_wM.

Mayor George Bray’s Opening Remarks

  • Mayor Bray had the opportunity to tour the entire AQS Quilt Show today to view the booths and quilt displays calling it an impressive show. 
  • Mayor Bray along with Judge Executive Craig Clymer, Barkley Regional Airport Executive Director Dennis Rouleau, and Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce President Sandra Wilson visited St. George, Utah, last week to speak to SkyWest representatives.  Mayor Bray said the meeting was positive.  In March, SkyWest issued a notice to discontinue Essential Air Service to dozens of regional airports, including Barkley due to pilot shortages.
  • Mayor Bray announced that he along with City Manager Daron Jordan and Parks & Recreation Department Director Amie Clark met today with Tim Topp regarding a situation that occurred at Stuart Nelson Park.  Last Tuesday, Topp arrived with several members of a youth baseball team and was informed that they couldn’t practice.  Mayor Bray says the situation was unfortunate since the team did not have field reservations, there were wet field conditions, and a team that had reserved a field had not arrived.  This situation let to the posting by Topp of a Facebook video.  Mayor Bray says the City held an internal meeting yesterday to review the situation.  Today, a meeting was held with City representatives, Topp, and community advocates.  Mayor Bray says there was a lot of listening and understanding with a goal to make city improvements including adjusting the ball field reservation policy and increasing signage at the fields.  Plus, the group discussed the need for more programs for kids.  Due to listening and collaboration, this unfortunate incident is expected to have positive outcomes. 

 

Buckner Lane Bridge Replacement Project Contract

The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance for a construction contract with Jim Smith Contracting LLC for the Buckner Lane Bridge Replacement Project. This project improves the two-lane section of Buckner Lane between Hansen Road and Pecan Drive and replaces the dilapidated bridge over Crooked Creek near the intersection with Buckner Lake Circle that has been affected by flooding and severe weather events.  The project also includes the installation of a new culvert under Oakcrest Drive near the intersection with Buckner Lane.  This project will improve stormwater conditions in the area by reducing the number of times Crooked Creek comes out of its banks due to severe storm events.  The project is expected to be completed in either late 2022 or early 2023.  The City has nearly $383,000 in State and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Relief Funding for the project.  The City also is using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

 

Airport Terminal Project Funding Support

The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance authorizing $3 million in funding support for the new Barkley Regional Airport terminal project.  The funds will be from the 2020 General Obligation Bond (GOB).  In August 2021, the City and County authorized an Interlocal Agreement with the Airport to provide funding support for the new terminal that is under construction.  The Airport also has received significant federal and state dollars for the project.

 

Paducah Police Department Update

Paducah Police Chief Brian Laird provided an overview of various department metrics and statistics.  A few of the presentation highlights are listed below.

  • The Paducah Police Department has an authorized strength of 81 sworn officers.  Currently, the department has 80 officers, 72 of which are male.  The officer demographics include 26 military veterans. 
  • There were 2841 crime reports in 2021, similar to the number of reports in 2020.  Comparing crime report numbers to 2019, there has been a 16 percent reduction.
  • In 2021, there were 1791 collisions reported with angle and rear end as the most common collision types.
  • In 2021, there were 45,810 calls for service.  Out of those calls, 54 required a use of force above normal handcuffing procedures.  None of the use of force incidents resulted in any major injuries to the citizen or officer.
  • In 2021, the Paducah 911 center dispatched 83,713 incidents and received more than 180,801 calls.

 

Community Scholarship Program Update

West Kentucky Community & Technical College President Dr. Anton Reece, Dr. Lisa Stephenson, and others representing the program provided an update on the Community Scholarship Program and thanked the City for its funding support since fiscal year 2011.  The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved a contract with PJC to provide $75,000 this fiscal year in support of the scholarship program.

The program motivates students to graduate high school and pursue a higher education by providing each Paducah and McCracken County high school graduate with a two-year tuition scholarship to WKCTC provided that each student register for the program, maintain a minimum grade point average and attendance record, and not have major disciplinary problems.  The program also receives funds from McCracken County, the Rotary Club of Paducah, Paducah Junior College, Inc., Paducah Power System, and numerous private sources.

 

Additional Meeting Information

  • New employee, Downtown Development Specialist Angela Schade, was introduced to the Board.
  • Mayor Bray presented a proclamation to Sarah House with the Paducah Tennis Association proclaiming May as National Tennis Month.
  • Municipal order approved for the purchase of solid waste dumpsters.
  • Ordinance approved for a contract modification with BFW Engineering & Testing for the S. 24th Street/S. 25th Street Improvement Project.  This contract modification expands the scope of professional services to include waterline design, utility company coordination, and construction inspection.
  • Ordinance approved for a contract modification with Jim Smith Contracting, LLC.  A change in the vendor supplying materials is reducing the overall contract by more than $463,000.  This project replaces 43 floodwall flapgates as part of the larger U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ $36 million project to rehabilitate Paducah’s floodwall.
  • Ordinance approved for the annexation of 5250 and 5266 U.S. Highway 60 as requested by the property owner.  The Board also approved annexation incentives to include the reimbursement of City of Paducah property taxes over a five-year period and free basic solid waste services for a year up to $10,000 for each property.
  • Ordinance approved to transfer $600,000 from the Investment Fund Balance Reserve to the City Facilities Improvements Fund. 

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