Principal-In-Charge/Senior Planning Advisor John Lyons and Professional Engineer Steve Vogel with Strand Associates provided an update to the Paducah Board of Commissioners on the work completed by Strand in partnership with the City of Paducah and BFW Engineering & Testing on the Comprehensive Storm Water Master Plan. The master plan development is on schedule with the first phase wrapping up and the second phase initiated.
Vogel explained that the project team used the existing conditions baseline model of the Paducah area to determine ten project areas. To replicate how rainfall affects this area, the baseline model was calibrated using the flood information from the July 7, 2015 storm event and information from residents. Vogel said, “We try to look for high-impact, low-cost projects that raise the benefit-cost ratio.”
Vogel said if storm water projects to address a 100-year storm event were completed on those ten areas, the total cost would be an estimated $43 to 47 million. Therefore, Strand has been working with the Storm Water Advisory Committee (SWAC) to review the ten project areas and project options. SWAC has reviewed general cost and design differences for a level of service for 10-year, 25-year, and 100-year storm events. After discussion and input, the majority of the SWAC selected a 25-year level of service for the design and evaluation of projects. Vogel said, “This gave us design criteria for how we move forward and design our alternatives.” SWAC Member Ralph Young said, “[Strand engineers] were good at showing us options. I think we have a dynamic and flexible model that will serve us well going forward.”
Vogel then showed the Board a few of the project areas and design options to address flooding. Using a 25-year storm event to design the projects for the ten areas reduces the estimated total cost to approximately $32 to $36 million. These projects could eliminate 160 to 180 primary structures (such as homes) from flooding and greatly reduce the flooding risk for another 275-310 primary structures within the Paducah city limits.
John Lyons then introduced the second phase of the Master Plan work which includes the determination of a revenue stream that would be used for the ten projects and for operations and maintenance of the existing infrastructure. Lyons said, “Nationally, most communities are moving to a Storm Water Utility. It’s a user fee, not a tax.” Lyons says there are 1491 storm water utilities in the United States with 12 currently in Kentucky. A storm water utility commonly uses an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) as a funding mechanism with many communities having an average fee of $4 to $5 per month for a residence. The ERU is based on the impervious surface on the parcel. City Manager Jim Arndt said, “A Storm Water Utility Fee is a great strategy to make sure you can make long term investments.” Mayor Brandi Harless said, “We are all having to lean in to solve a big problem in our community.”
Over the next few months, Strand will be reviewing the amount of impervious area in the Paducah area to help develop a recommended ERU. Items included in this second phase of the master planning process include the development of annual operation and maintenance costs and the costs for repair and replacement of existing infrastructure, the projection of future funding needs, funding alternatives and rate options, billing system options, a rate comparison, and a storm water utility ordinance. There will be intensive community outreach and engagement efforts. The second phase of the project was approved at the March 13, 2018, meeting of the Paducah Board of Commissioners.
President, CEO of Paducah Economic Development (PED) Scott Darnell and Monica Bilak updated the Paducah Board of Commissioners on EntrePaducah. EntrePaducah is a concierge service through PED that helps connect entrepreneurs and small business owners with local and regional organizations and resources. PED partners with Murray State University, Sprocket Inc., and other organizations to assist entrepreneurs and startup businesses. Bilak recently visited several cities with successful entrepreneurial programs. Bilak will be working with PED to construct a plan to increase business development and entrepreneurial programming in Paducah based on her research and visits to other cities. Regarding Paducah, Bilak said, “We have amazing resources. We just need to connect them.”
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved applying for the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grant. Applicants can apply for up to $25 million for transportation related projects that have a local and regional impact. The City of Paducah is partnering with the Paducah-McCracken County Port Authority to seek grant funds totaling $24,895, 759.
Mayor Harless said, “The strategy here is to go for a program of projects. We are calling this Riverfront to Riverport: Investing in Paducah’s Maritime Hub.” Planning Director Tammara Tracy said, “It is important for Paducah to grasp the framework we have laid for all these projects. We would not be here if it wasn’t for the river. We want to embrace our river roots.”
The Port Authority is seeking $10.8 million to construct a loading area for general cargo and containers. The City’s funding request, which totals slightly more than $12.6 million, would be used to construct a landing/excursion pier to provide a docking point for the steamboats that visit Paducah between April and December. This landing/excursion pier was identified as a project to enhance Paducah’s riverfront in the 2007 Riverfront Master Plan created by JJR. Also, the City’s funding would be used to develop the former Executive Inn site into the Paducah Commons. A master plan for that area was completed by RATIO Architects in 2015 with additional design work completed by Bacon Farmer Workman Engineering & Testing. Some of the Paducah Commons elements include a sculpture walk, vendor areas, a great lawn, a performance area, walkways, and seating.
If funded, the City would have until the summer of 2020 to begin construction.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance for Change Order No. 1 for the City Hall Phase I project. The Change Order reduces the City’s contract with A&K Construction by $206,381. This reduction is due the Kentucky Heritage Council’s (KHC) recent decision to approve a window supplier that is less expensive. Since Paducah’s City Hall is on the National Register of Historic Places, the project team must submit key components of the rehabilitation project to the KHC for approval.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners also introduced an ordinance for Change Order No. 2 which involves nine elements that have either been deleted or added to the project. The net result of the nine elements increases the contract with A&K by $16,836. A portion of the cost increase is due to the repair needed to the beams and canopy after the removal of paint and concrete filler revealed several areas in need of patching. Another addition is due to the need to increase the roof slope for drainage.
Taking into account the cost reduction due to Change Order No. 1 and the slight cost increase due to Change Order No. 2, the total contract with A&K is $4,104,236.
The contract with A&K to rehabilitate City Hall was approved by the Paducah Board of Commissioners on January 23 of this year. The contractor began working March 4. This project includes the rehabilitating and improving of City Hall’s roofing membrane, concrete overhang (canopy) through steel beam stabilization of roof cantilevers, façade, heating and cooling systems, skylights, windows, and exterior doors. Currently, the building has a screen around it as crews have been removing layers of paint and debris from the exterior. The screen helps keep the debris on the concrete podium area for containment and removal. The project is expected to be completed around Thanksgiving, which is ahead of schedule.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance for the recodification of the Paducah Code of Ordinances. KRS 83A.060(11) requires cities to review and revise their Code of Ordinances for internal consistency and State law compliance every five years. The City entered into a contract in 2017 with Municipal Code Corporation for the recodification process. Over the past several months, the City Clerk’s office, department staff, and the Municipal Code Corporation along with the assistance of Denton Law Firm have been working to eliminate redundant, obsolete, and invalid provisions. City Clerk Lindsay Parish said this process updated approximately 125 sections across 20 chapters of Paducah’s code. A few of the noteworthy changes include degenderizing the majority of the code, updating the Board of Commissioners meeting dates and order of business to reflect current practices, and updating sections for compliance with the American’s with Disabilities Act. Once the online version is updated, links will be provided to sections that reference State law. Furthermore, the begging ordinance was updated to comply with the Kentucky Supreme Court Decision on panhandling. The online version of the updated Code of Ordinances is expected to be available later this month.