City Commission Meeting Highlights - September 14, 2021

To view the entire meeting, visit https://youtu.be/NnObSqN0Zg4.

Property Tax Levy for Fiscal Year 2022

The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance setting the real estate and personal property tax rates for fiscal year 2022.  A property tax levy public hearing was held prior to the ordinance introduction.  The City’s real estate tax levy is proposed to be 27.1 cents per $100 assessed value, slightly more than last year’s rate of 26.7 cents.  On a home assessed at $100,000, this proposed rate would be an increase of $4 on the property tax bill.

The City’s Compensating Rate, the rate that would keep the revenue at the same amount as last year, is 26.1 cents per $100 assessed value.  Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) permits a city to adjust the rate upward by not more than 4 percent of the compensating rate.  Since the City’s proposed tax levy of 27.1 cents is 4 percent greater than the compensating rate, a public hearing was required.  

The revenue generated by the property tax is the City’s second highest revenue source behind the payroll tax.

 

Buckner Lane Bridge Replacement Project – Stormwater Project

The Board introduced an ordinance to expand the project scope with BFW Engineering & Testing for the Buckner Lane Bridge Replacement Project.  This project expansion will not only replace the bridge but also improve the road design on Buckner Lane from Pecan Drive to Hanson Road.  This project which was identified during the Stormwater Master Planning Process will greatly improve stormwater conditions in that area.  The goal is to start the construction of this project in Spring 2022.

This bridge on Buckner Lane over Crooked Creek is located near the intersection with Buckner Lake Circle.  It has been affected by flooding and severe weather events in 2018 and 2019.  Regarding funding, the City applied for Disaster Relief Funding from FEMA for the bridge project after flooding and severe weather events in 2018.  FEMA has obligated nearly $330,000 for the project with the State providing nearly $53,000.  The City also is using a portion of the $4 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding that the City set aside for stormwater projects. 

 

South 24th and South 25th Street Road Improvement Projects – Stormwater Project

The Board introduced an ordinance to expand the project scope with BFW Engineering & Testing for the South 24th Street and South 25th Street Road Improvement Projects.  This project expansion will include the design of a 4-acre stormwater detention basin next to the new South 24th Street bridge over Cross Creek.  This project will be funded using a portion of the ARPA funding the City set aside for stormwater mitigation projects.  This stormwater project, which was identified in the Stormwater Master Planning Process, will reduce flooding issues in the area.

The South 25th Street project redesigns the roadway from U.S. 60 (Jackson Street) to Alabama Street.  The project is funded in part by a $650,000 State grant.  The South 24th Street project improves the roadway from 25th Street to South 28th Street.

 

BUILD Grant – Environmental Assessment

The Board introduced an ordinance to expand the contract scope with BFW Engineering & Testing, Inc. for additional environmental assessment services for the Paducah Riverfront Infrastructure Improvement Project (BUILD Grant).  In 2019, the City of Paducah was awarded the $10.4 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Grant. The project includes an excursion pier and plaza, transient dock landing improvements, four intersection improvements, and a multi-use pathway. 

To execute a grant contract with MARAD (Maritime Administration) for the release of the funding and before the project can be designed, the City of Paducah must complete an Environmental Assessment to fulfill the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) requirements.  This expanded scope is to complete the requirements of an unforeseen Programmatic Agreement.  The Agreement was determined after consultation with the Kentucky State Historic Preservation Office, MARAD, and other entities.  Once the Agreement is signed, then the Environmental Assessment will be able to be submitted and reviewed by MARAD.  We hope to begin the design phase early in 2022 with construction beginning later that year.

 

Riverfront Park Erosion Repair and Mitigation Project

The Board introduced an ordinance for a contract with Wilkins Construction for the repair and mitigation of flood damage to the riverfront park adjacent to the boat dock.  The project includes expanding the stone revetment, adding rip-rap, and placing erosion control blocks adjacent to the sidewalks.  The City has received FEMA funding of nearly $400,000 for the project.  The State will provide nearly $64,000 for the project with the City providing a little more than $69,000. 

 

Contracts for Services for Funding Support

The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved contracts for services between the City and the following agencies:

  • Paducah Area Transit System (PATS) – City is providing $215,000 to support the transit system. 
  • Barkley Regional Airport – City is providing $120,000 in support of the airport’s services.

 

Touchdowns and Tunes Event Discussion

The Board discussed the Touchdowns and Tunes event held over Labor Day weekend at Carson Park, a McCracken County park located within the Paducah city limits.  This three-day concert series had more than 15,000 attendees.  A couple of citizens commented at the meeting and voiced their concerns about COVID-19, the volume of the noise from the concerts, and the times of the day the music was playing.

 

Additional Meeting Information

  • Mayor Bray proclaimed September as City Government Month.
  • Mayor Bray presented a Duke of Paducah award to Nate Crawford.
  • Several new employees were introduced to the Board: 911 Telecommunicator Landon Schellhardt and police officers Fred Harvey, Carlos Cordero, Samantha Wilson, and Jackson McCormick
  • Boards and Commissions
    • Appointment of Ronna Ward and Ardenia Cleary to the Paducah Civic Beautification Board.
    • Joint reappointment of Mark Whitlow, Tom Padgett, Darryl Pea, Bill Bartleman, David Jones, Alex Sherwood, Andrew McGlennon, and John Mann to the Paducah-McCracken County Convention Center Corporation.
  • Municipal order approved for an interlocal cooperative purchasing contract with the Houston-Galveston Area Council for the purchase of goods and services.  This contract will be a cost savings to the City for upcoming purchases.
  • Ordinance approved for an amendment to the zoning ordinance, Section 126-68.  This amendment aligns the Conditional Use permitting process with state statutes.  This amendment allows conditional use petitions to go directly to the Board of Adjustment rather than referring them to the Planning Commission first.  This amendment will save a developer three weeks or more on their projects.  The Planning Commission supports this amendment.

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