Principal-In-Charge/Senior Planning Advisor John Lyons 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 second phase of the Comprehensive Stormwater Master Plan. As a reminder, the first phase of the Comprehensive Stormwater Master Plan has been completed. The first phase used the July 7, 2015, storm event to create a model of Paducah’s natural and manmade infrastructure including storm and combined sewer systems, topography, drainage basins, and river systems. This computer model along with community input was used to determine flood-prone areas in Paducah. The first phase identified more than $43 million in flood mitigation projects located within ten priority areas. If the drainage projects outlined in the ten project areas were completed, 245 homes in the City would not be flooded with an additional 289 structures seeing a reduction in flooding.
The Master Plan’s second phase specifically addresses the creation of a Stormwater Utility with an associated Stormwater Impact Fee. The proposed Fee is a revenue stream that could fund items including the ten drainage projects, operations and maintenance of the existing infrastructure, the City’s flood protection system (floodwall), regulatory compliance requirements, infrastructure repair and replacement, and the administration of the program through staffing and equipment. There are approximately 1500 stormwater utilities in the United States with 12 of them in Kentucky.
Lyons explained that a stormwater utility most often uses an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) as a funding mechanism. The ERU is based on the impervious surface on a parcel. Over the past few weeks, Strand has sampled the residential areas of Paducah to determine an average amount of impervious area for each residential parcel. The average is 3500 square feet per residential parcel which would equal one ERU. It would be proposed for each residential parcel to pay the same amount per month, one ERU. Lyons says at the November 27 meeting, a proposed monthly ERU rate per parcel could be introduced and discussed.
Lyons also explained that non-residential parcels could pay a monthly fee equal to the total amount of impervious area on the non-residential property divided by 3500 and then multiplied by the fee (which has not been determined). The City also could look into developing a credit policy for commercial property owners that exceeded local stormwater detention and water quality requirements.
Paducah residents are invited to attend a public meeting to provide input regarding the creation of a stormwater utility. The public meeting is tomorrow (November 14) in the City Commission Chambers on the second floor of City Hall located at 300 South 5th Street. The meeting is an open house format beginning at 5 p.m. A presentation about the proposed stormwater utility and fee structure will begin at 5:30 p.m. with plenty of time after the presentation for discussions with the project team members. The presentation part of the meeting also will be available for viewing live on Government 11 and live streamed. Refreshments will be provided. After the meeting, there will be a survey available at www.paducahky.gov for residents to complete to provide their thoughts about this proposed stormwater utility.
Mayor Brandi Harless proclaimed November as UNESCO Creative Cities Month to honor Paducah’s 5th anniversary as a UNESCO Creative City of Crafts & Folk Art. Paducah is one of 180 cities in 72 countries that make up the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. There are 9 creative cities in the United States. Nathan Brown and Sara Bradley both spoke about the importance of the UNESCO designation. Bradley said, “We have been given this honor and privilege to do so much more with this community. I do think that people don’t know how powerful and meaningful this designation is.” Brown emphasized that this designation will lead to economic growth not just in the tourism industry but also in making Paducah an enticing location for other types of industry.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance for a contract with Bacon Farmer Workman Engineering & Testing, Inc. (BFW) for architectural design, permitting assistance, and construction documentation in the amount of $36,320 for the Noble Park Peck Addition Project. This project is near the Cairo Road entrance to Noble Park with the plan to relocate the Peck memorial at the entrance to a new location in the park that will have nature trails, seating, and outdoor educational areas providing information on topics such as recycling, tree identification, stormwater management, and litter control. The trails will tie into the existing nature trail near the Anna Baumer Building and the Amphitheatre. Mr. Lane Peck established a fund in 2016 totaling $300,000 with the Community Foundation of West Kentucky to be used for nature and outdoor education. Peck passed away in 2016. The monument at the Cairo Road entrance is in honor of Mr. Peck’s late wife.