Mayor Gayle Kaler opened the City Commission meeting by asking everyone to observe a moment of silence for the victims of Sunday’s tornadoes. Commissioner Richard Abraham says, “The storms reminded me of how quickly things can change, and it reminded me of family. We should appreciate each other.” Mayor Kaler was proud of the community’s support and the outpouring of donations for the families in Brookport, Illinois. Mayor Kaler says, “I think we realize once again what a compassionate community we have.” City Manager Jeff Pederson thanked the Paducah Police and Fire Departments for their assistance during the emergency response.
JSA Executive Director John Hodges briefed the Commission on recently completed projects and projects underway for the Paducah-McCracken County Joint Sewer Agency. Hodges says an annual maintenance project is to rehabilitate pipes. This year approximately 15,000 linear feet of sewer pipe were rehabilitated. Regarding projects, JSA recently completed the $9 million Massac Creek Interceptor Phase I project stretching north of Information Age Park (Paducah Commerce Park). He says projects that are underway include the second phase of the Massac Creek project south of Information Age Park. A project that will get a lot of attention in the next few months is the separation of the combined sewer system in the Wallace Park subdivision near the intersection of Alben Barkley Drive and Jackson Street. This approximately $4 million project is under design. JSA has reached out to the neighborhood through letters and informational meetings. Another informational meeting will be this Thursday at 6 p.m. at Paducah Middle School. The project is expected to start in the summer of 2014 and will affect approximately 80 homes.
City Engineering-Public Works Director Rick Murphy says the Ohio River Boat Launch project is in its final stages of completion with pavement striping underway in addition to the assembly of the courtesy dock. A ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for Tuesday, December 10 at 1 p.m. The new boat launch, located at 6th and Burnett Streets, has an 82-space parking area, a six-lane boat ramp, and a courtesy dock.
City Engineering-Public Works Director Rick Murphy says the construction on the phase of the Greenway Trail between the Brookport Bridge and the Skatepark at Noble Park will be shutting down soon for the winter. The contractor has concreted the section between the Skatepark and Cairo Road and will be placing the signage at the intersection of the trail and Cairo Road. Construction work will resume in the spring to finish the trail between Cairo Road and the Brookport Bridge including the 52-foot long underpass at U.S. 45 (North 8th Street).
Director of Marketing and Planning at Baptist Health Paducah Dona Rains thanked the community for its support of the national Pink Glove Dance video contest to raise breast cancer awareness. Rains says, “We want to share a message that early detection of breast cancer through mammograms can save lives.” The local video featured 14,200 people including Mayor Gayle Kaler and Mayfield Mayor Teresa Cantrell, students from three local high schools, breast cancer survivors, Tennessee Titans Safety George Wilson, and hundreds of Baptist Health Paducah employees. The video received nearly 30,000 votes during the two-week online voting contest. The video finished in fourth place out of 106 videos. Mayor Kaler says, “You are to be congratulated. Being fourth in the entire country is pretty incredible.” The video received an honorable mention for the most participants, and it placed third in the contest’s School Health Awards for involving schools in the awareness campaign. The award includes a cash donation for the hospital’s designated charity, the Kentucky Cancer Program’s Horses and Hope. Rains says as an entry requirement this year for the contest, the hospital needed to raise money for a charity. Baptist Health Paducah raised almost $16,000 for its new Your Fight fund to improve cancer services and help local cancer patients. The contest is sponsored by pink glove manufacturer, Medline Industries, Inc.
The Mayor and Commissioners introduced an ordinance for a loan guaranty instrument with Regions Bank for the benefit of the Greater Paducah Economic Development Council (GPEDC). This loan guaranty in the maximum amount of $341,437 is related to the loan originally made by GPEDC in 2003 for a payment to the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) for Information Age Park (now known as Paducah Commerce Park).