Note: Due to the COVID-19 situation and the need to maintain social distancing, all members of the Paducah Board of Commissioners participated by video and/or audio conferencing.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance setting the real estate and personal property tax rates for fiscal year 2021. A property tax levy public hearing was held prior to the introduction of the ordinance. The City’s real estate tax levy is proposed to be set at 26.7 cents per $100 assessed value, the same rate as last year (fiscal year 2020).
The City’s Compensating Rate, the rate that would keep the revenue at the same amount as FY2020, is 26.3 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. With the proposed 26.7 cents, the City would be taking a rate that is 1.5% more than the compensating rate. Since the City’s proposed tax levy is more than the compensating rate, a public hearing was required.
The proposed rate of 26.7 cents is much less than what the rate was more than twenty years ago in fiscal year 1995. At that time the real estate rate was 43.8 cents per $100 assessed value. The revenue generated by the property tax is the City’s second highest revenue source behind the payroll tax.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved a municipal order for a contract with Youngblood Excavating & Contracting in the amount of $242,690 for the Peck Education Trail at Noble Park. This project is funded entirely by the estate of Lane Peck through the Community Foundation of West Kentucky. This project will extend the existing nature trail behind the amphitheater at Noble Park, cross a drainage area with a boardwalk, and stretch toward the park entrance off Cairo Road. The Peck Education Trail will be more than a half mile in length and will designate trees, fauna, and nature areas to give the community information about local ecology and habitats. Parking areas will be added off Noble Park Trace, the road that enters the park from Cairo Road. Additionally, the Children's Memorial Garden honoring the children killed in the 1995 Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing will be relocated to the Peck Education Trail along with 19 new dogwoods. This is the second bid attempt on this project as the first bid came in $90,000 over available funds. The initial scope has been reduced, but the plan will allow for future expansion.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved a municipal order listing the agencies that will receive a financial contribution from the City through the Grant-in-Aid program. Earlier this year, with a deadline of June 30, the City accepted applications from non-profit agencies and agencies that provide a municipal service that meets the needs of the City. The applications were reviewed by the Grant-in-Aid panel with recommendations provided to the City Manager’s office. More than three dozen agencies were considered for this limited pool of funding totaling $622,500. The approved list of agencies and the funding amounts for Fiscal Year 2021 are as follows:
The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance for the purchase of property at 2640 South 24th Street in the amount of $8000. This floodplain property is adjacent to the newly rehabilitated South 24th Street Bridge. The City plans to remove the structure on the property and grade the land to improve the area’s stormwater drainage, stormwater storage capability, and management. Over the past several weeks, Jim Smith Contracting has been working to replace the bridge which is more than 50 years old. This bridge over Cross Creek between Seitz Street and Center Street had been damaged from flooding especially in 2018. The new bridge is wider to accommodate ADA-compliant sidewalks. The City is receiving FEMA funds to assist with the bridge project.