Date of release: December 15, 2020
Note: Due to the COVID-19 situation and the need to maintain social distancing, all members of the Paducah Board of Commissioners participated by video and/or audio conferencing.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved two ordinances related to the Industrial Development Authority (IDA).
Mayor Brandi Harless, Mayor Pro Tem Richard Abraham, Commissioner Gerald Watkins, and Commissioner Brenda McElroy have each received a plaque in recognition of their dedicated service, devotion, and commitment to the City of Paducah. This Commission meeting is the final meeting of the year and the last time for this current class, Commission Class #42 to be together in official capacity.
City Manager Jim Arndt recognized the employees who are receiving LOVE awards this year. The Living Our Values Every Day Awards recognize employees who embrace the City’s organizational values. The employees are nominated by other employees with a city employee team reviewing the nominations to select one employee (or team of employees) for each of the six organizational values. This year, 64 nomination forms were received. The award recipients are as follows:
Be sure to check the City’s social media pages over the next few days to see the names of employees nominated for each value and images of the award recipients.
Finance Director Jonathan Perkins and David Hampton of Kemper CPA Group, LLP provided an overview of the City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) which includes the City audit. The audit is required by State law; however, the CAFR is a voluntary document that the City prepares to provide additional information and transparency to the public. The report is for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2020. Paducah is one of the few cities in Kentucky that prepares a CAFR. For 29 consecutive years, Paducah has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). The entire CAFR report and previous audits dating back to 2001 can be found on the City’s website, www.paducahky.gov.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance (by a 4 to 1 vote with Commissioner Richard Abraham voting no) to provide a 20-year forgivable loan in an amount up to $900,000 to Sprocket, Inc. The funds will be used to help build out the more than 8000 square feet of makerspace at 3121 Broadway. Sprocket is partnering with Cape Girardeau-based Codefi for a co-working and business start-up incubator to create high tech jobs and startup companies in Paducah. Codefi Co-founder Dr. James Stapleton embraces the growth of the digital sector and is thrilled with the location for Codefi at the Coke Plant. Stapleton said, “We want to provide resilient, high-paying occupations in this community.” Commissioner Abraham supports the project but not the magnitude of forgivable loan funding in light of the City’s fiscal situation caused by the pandemic, specifically that fund reserves were used to balance the City’s budget.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved a resolution encouraging the incoming Board of Commissioners to consider relief options to local businesses related to alcohol licensing renewal fees. The resolution also authorizes the City Manager, City Clerk, and Finance Director to research the relief options. A portion of the resolution is as follows:
WHEREAS, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent Executive Orders from the Kentucky Office of the Governor, many businesses have been required to close and/or operate at diminished capacity in 2020; and
WHEREAS, the City Commission understands that these measures, while necessary for public health, have caused a substantial financial impact on restaurants, bars and other businesses in the City of Paducah and across the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, the City Commission recognizes that this financial impact constitutes a substantial burden on local restaurants, bars and other businesses; and
WHEREAS, the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has allowed for a twelve (12) month fee waiver for certain Kentucky State alcoholic beverage license types.