City Commission Meeting Highlights, May 9, 2017

Public Service Recognition Week Proclamation

Mayor Brandi Harless proclaimed May 7 through 13 as Public Service Recognition Week.  Celebrated the first full week in May since 1985, Public Service Recognition Week (www.publicservicerecognitionweek.org) is a time to honor the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county, and local government employees.  Below is the proclamation’s text.

To All Whom These Presents Shall Come:

WHEREAS,     Public Service Recognition Week is an opportunity to recognize the important roles played by the various levels of government; and

WHEREAS,     City government is the form of government closest to most citizens with direct daily impact through its many services; and

WHEREAS,     Paducah has 330 full-time employees who work to serve this community with dedication, professionalism, integrity, and efficiency.

NOW THEREFORE, to honor the contributions and accomplishments of government employees at all levels, I, Brandi Harless, Mayor of Paducah, Kentucky do hereby declare May 7-13, 2017, Public Service Recognition Week

During Public Service Recognition Week, graphics are being posted daily on the City of Paducah’s website (www.paducahky.gov) and Facebook page.  Each graphic features a quote and photo of a City of Paducah employee explaining why they are proud to serve this community. 

 

Grant Application Requesting Funding for Telephony Equipment for 911 Communications Services Department

The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved a municipal order authorizing the grant application to the Kentucky 911 Services Board.  The grant request is for $175,000 with no local match required.  If awarded, the funds would be used to help fund the replacement of the telephony equipment used by the 911 Communications Services Department.  The current equipment is in critical need of replacing and upgrading.

 

Mayor Harless and Col BeckAuthorization of Partnership Agreement for Ohio River Shoreline Reconstruction Project

The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance for a Project Partnership (PPA) Agreement between the Department of the Army and the City of Paducah for the floodwall reconstruction project.  Col. Christopher Beck who serves as Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District signed the agreement with Mayor Harless.  This agreement establishes the financial cost sharing between the federal government and the City of Paducah.  Col. Beck says, “We’re excited because what this project partnership agreement allows us to do is compete favorably for federal funding and move this project forward which it is in desperate need of for the community of Paducah.” 

Rehabilitating the City’s floodwall is projected to cost millions of dollars with a maximum federal authorization amount of slightly more than $32.5 million.  This agreement outlines that the federal government is responsible for 65% of that possible maximum cost (approximately $21.1 million) with the City of Paducah’s portion at 35% (approximately $11.4 million).  The City’s portion can be a combination of in-kind and cash funds.  The floodwall projects will require federal legislation and appropriations to fund the project needs.  This agreement outlines the cost sharing; however, it does not appropriate funding. 

The City of Paducah operates and maintains the concrete and earthen levee system that extends 12.25 miles (9.25 miles of earthen levee and 3.0 miles of concrete).   The system includes 12 pump stations and several gates, pipes, and 47 vehicular openings.  Construction of the floodwall occurred between August 1939 and July 1949.  The City took over operation and maintenance of the floodwall from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) following construction.   According to the USACE, an estimated $1.2 billion of City and County assets are protected by Paducah’s floodwall protection system.

 

Zone Change for Property at 4231 Pecan Drive

The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance to change the zoning of the property located at 4231 Pecan Drive from R-1 (Low Density Residential Zone) to R-4 (High Density Residential Zone).  The ordinance was approved by a 4-1 vote with Commissioner Richard Abraham voting against the zone change.  Commissioner Abraham says, “When you open up to R-4, then everything that is legal to come in there will be there.  That neighborhood will be changed forever.”

CDB Service Finance, LLC requested the zone change for the 18.246 acre property in order to construct a skilled nursing facility. The proposed 100-bed nursing facility would be 77,300 square feet in size.  Skilled nursing facilities are permitted in an R-4 zone in the City of Paducah.

Prior to this meeting and vote, a public hearing was held at the April 3 Planning Commission meeting with the Planning Commission approving a resolution in support of the zone change.  This zone change ordinance was introduced at the April 11 Board of Commissioners meeting with the second reading deferred until this meeting.  Since April 11, Mayor Brandi Harless has held meetings with the neighborhood residents and the team working to bring this facility to the area.  The neighborhood has voiced concerns about increases in traffic, noise, and storm water runoff if this facility is constructed.

At this meeting before the vote, Mayor Harless thanked everyone for their input and willingness to discuss the issue.  Mayor Harless says, “It’s these kinds of discussions that will lead us to our best result.”  Mayor Harless says, “My biggest question is can we solve for these concerns [from the neighborhood] while we also encourage economic development in our community.” Harless says she wants to further explore the traffic concerns in addition to prioritizing this area in the storm water master planning process.  At the same time, Harless has worked with the developer on possible ways to minimize the impact.    

Mayor Harless posted her thoughts about the complexity of this project and plans to mitigate the neighborhood’s concerns in a blog post on her website www.brandiharless.com.   

 

Ordinance Establishing Guidelines for Food Trucks

The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance establishing Section 126-88 Mobile Food Vehicles also known as food trucks in the Paducah Code of Ordinances.  This ordinance comes after more than a year of research by the Planning Department.  This ordinance does not apply to ice-cream trucks or food vending carts/stands.  A summary of the research was presented at the March 28 Board of Commissioners meeting with a public hearing held at the April 17 Planning Commission Meeting.  The Planning Commission provided a positive recommendation regarding the establishment of this new ordinance.  Prospective food trucks vendors will need to complete an application through the Planning Department.  There is no fee for the application. 

This ordinance expands the zones and locations in which a food truck could operate including the commercial zones and along City of Paducah rights-of-way.  Plus, with written permission, the trucks could operate on private property in those zones.  The food truck may not operate for more than 14 consecutive days in one location and must wait 30 days before returning to that location.  Also, the food truck may not be within 100 feet of the main entrance of a restaurant. 

The ordinance also addresses traffic, sidewalks, and parking concerns in addition to hours of operation.  The food trucks may operate within the hours of 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.  They can operate until 2 a.m. if located on private property and the principal business on that property is open.  The trucks cannot be left overnight in public parking lots or the City of Paducah rights-of-way.  Several provisions also are outlined such as a three compartment sink and hot and cold water within the unit.  There also are provisions on how close the food truck could get to special events unless it is permitted as part of a special event.  To address noise concerns, the food truck may not use bells, music, horns, or other sounds to attract customers and the noise level must comply with the City’s noise ordinances.  Also, generators will not be permitted on Broadway, 2nd Street, or within 100 feet of a residence. 

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