Note: Commissioner Richard Abraham was unable to attend this meeting.
City County Joint Resolution Regarding Closure of Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant
The Mayor and Commissioners approved a joint resolution signed by Mayor Kaler and Judge Executive Newberry with the support of the United Steel Workers Local 550, the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce, and Paducah Economic Development regarding the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. The resolution demands the Department of Energy to immediately do the following:
Mayor Gayle Kaler says, “I think our recent trip to Washington made a difference. We showed our human side. They now know our faces. We are not just numbers.” Local leaders are planning another trip to Washington, D.C. September 11-12 with the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce. Mayor Kaler says work also is being done to gain the support of surrounding states, especially Illinois, in supporting the Paducah plant.
Roof Stabilization Assistance Program (vote August 13)
The Mayor and Commissioners introduced an ordinance to establish a Roof Stabilization Program to assist property owners within a defined area of historic downtown Paducah. The area stretches in general from Water Street to 7th Street and Jefferson Street to Kentucky Avenue. The purpose of the ordinance is to protect the historic structures, reduce the deterioration of the buildings, and prevent greater expenditures by the City of Paducah by hopefully preventing the need for demolition. City Manager Pederson says, “We hope we are creating a stronger awareness to the importance of roof stability in historic preservation.” Planning Director Steve Ervin provided a quote from the National Park Service that reads, “A poor roof will permit the accelerated deterioration of historic building materials—masonry, wood, plaster, paint—and will cause general disintegration of the basic structure. Furthermore, there is an urgency involved in repairing a leaky roof since such repair costs will quickly become prohibitive.” Ervin showed a photo of the disintegration of the roof of the Kresge Building which required the City to fund more than $20,000 for the emergency stabilization of the structure. Commissioner Allan Rhodes says, “We just can’t let our historic structures fall to pieces.” Property owners will be eligible to apply for financial assistance in replacing or repairing the roof of their building with financial assistance not exceeding 50 percent of the construction costs or 50 percent of the stabilization funds allotted by the City for the fiscal year. Also, third party construction estimates are required. Annual applications for assistance would be accepted for a specified period of time once a public notice is issued. The ordinance outlines an applicant’s eligibility based upon the urgency of the roof stabilization, the contribution of the structure on the National Register of Historic Places, the structure’s relationship to adjacent structures, and the capital commitment of the property owner to rehabilitate the structure. The funds will not be available to the property owner until the rehabilitation work has been completed. The City of Paducah Planning Department will oversee the program with the Urban Renewal & Community Development Agency (URCDA) given the authority to oversee the allocation of funds up to $50,000. The ordinance also defines procedures for emergency roof repair with the City Commission reviewing all emergency roof repair requests more than $20,000. The first year of the Roof Stabilization Program will have $135,000 available based on a $50,000 budget appropriation and the transferring of $85,000 from a façade loan program.
Approval of Construction Agreement for TeleTech Building (vote August 13)
The Mayor and Commissioners introduced an ordinance to approve the agreement for the construction of a single story, 30,000 square foot facility that will be a customer care center for TeleTech on McCracken Boulevard in Paducah Commerce Park (formerly Information Age Park). As announced in November 2012, TeleTech is bringing a call center to Paducah and will employ 450 full-time employees with benefits. The majority of the employees will be housed in a new facility to be constructed on 8.7 acres in Paducah Commerce Park with the remaining employees at the Commerce Center facility located at 401 Kentucky Avenue. The City and County will each contribute $1.35 million toward the building’s construction. Paducah Economic Development (PED) will provide $300,000 for the building for a total commitment of $3 million. A&K Construction was selected through a competitive process as the contractor with the facility expected to cost $3.296 million. The Mayor and Commissioner also approved a municipal order for an overage agreement for the costs exceeding the $3 million. Costs above the $3 million (an estimated $296,000) will be split between TeleTech and PED with PED providing $250,000 and TeleTech providing $46,000. City Manager Jeff Pederson says, “With these agreements we will have the assurances in place to pay for all of the funding of the building.” The building will be owned by the City and County.
Zone Change for 161 Pecan Court
The Commissioners approved an ordinance for a zone change for 161 Pecan Court. Marleene Andersen is requesting a zone change for the property from R-1 (Low Density Residential) to R-4 (High Density Residential). This parcel consists of one vacant home on 7.77 acres across from West Kentucky Community & Technical College. The zone change has been requested since the Ophthalmology Group would like to construct a new 30,000 square foot medical office with 168 parking stalls. The Planning Commission held a public hearing on the zone change on July 1, 2013 and made a positive recommendation.
Noble Park Pool Project Change Orders
The Commissioners approved two ordinances for change orders for the Noble Park Pool Project. The Noble Park Pool received significant renovations earlier this year including a new pool liner, filtration, and disinfection systems. The spraypad that is replacing the baby pool remains under construction. The first change order is for engineering services. The scope of engineering has changed as the project has continued with the addition of the spraypad and the need to bid the project into three phases to reduce costs. The Commissioners approved an ordinance to increase the engineering services contract with Florence & Hutchison by $40,995 for a project total of $184,195. The services include planning, design, procurement, and on-site inspection. The Commissioners also approved a change order in the amount of $15,727.61 with Midstates Construction, Inc. for the concession project. During construction it was necessary to remove an old asbestos water tank which required the cutting of a hole in a wall to remove the tank intact without asbestos exposure. The Noble Park Pool opened Memorial Day and will be open through August 11. The pool has not received a significant renovation since 1992. The City has invested more than $1.2 million in the renovation and rehabilitation of the Noble Park Pool.