Note: Mayor Brandi Harless was unable to attend this meeting.
Partnership Specialist Mark Wattier with the U.S. Census Bureau and Paducah McCracken County’s Complete Count Committee (CCC) Chair Zana Renfro provided a presentation about the upcoming 2020 Census. Renfro encouraged the community by saying, “Let’s get out and make sure you are counted in the Census.” Renfro adds, “We want the response to be the best reflection of our community.” Wattier and Renfro have been working to gather community partners to help spread the word including local governments, utility companies, the Housing Authority of Paducah, and the McCracken County Public Library. Wattier says in early to mid-March, residents will receive invitations to complete the census questionnaire with options to complete it by phone, online, or paper copy. Wattier also discussed the importance of a complete and accurate count in determining congressional representation, the determination of legislative, school, and voting districts, and the appropriation of federal funding. Part-time jobs are available with the Census Bureau. Visit https://census.gov/jobs.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance for a Memorandum of Agreement between the City of Paducah and the McCracken County Jail. This agreement would allow for Class D inmates to participate in a work program with the City of Paducah. Under the supervision of deputies, the inmates would work six days each week from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. cleaning and maintaining the City’s right-of-way locations and other areas. In addition to directing the maintenance duties, the City will provide training and equipment and the use of a 15-passenger van for the workers. This agreement is from March 1 to November 30 and will automatically renew until terminated.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance for the renewal of the Cable Television Franchise Agreement with Comcast of the South. The purpose of this Franchise, which has a ten-year term that would be effective March 1, 2020, is to grant a non-exclusive franchise to Comcast to continue to operate and maintain a cable television system within the City. The City issued a request for proposals for a Cable Television Franchise in January with a deadline of February 6, 2020. Comcast submitted the only proposal.
Planning Director Tammara Tracy presented an overview of Paducah’s two Opportunity Zones and highlighted the Prospectus of Projects booklet. Tracy says, “There’s an opportunity to make a significant amount of money as well as help the community. We want the community and people outside the community to invest in us.” Opportunity Zones are economic development tools promoting investment in distressed communities through legislation enacted by the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. New investments in an Opportunity Zone area may be eligible for preferential tax treatment such as capital gains tax advantages. Paducah has two Opportunity Zone designations, which were selected by the State, located in the northern and downtown areas in Paducah. There are 8700 zones across the United States. To help our two zones stand out to potential investors, the City has developed a booklet providing an overview of our community and featuring six transformative projects including the Columbia Theatre and the Northside Neighborhood. To learn more about Paducah’s Opportunity Zones and to download the Prospectus of Projects, visit http://paducahky.gov/opportunity-zones.