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 conferencing.
Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Ordinance
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance for the City of Paducah’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget. A budget workshop was held May 26. City Manager Jim Arndt said the theme of the FY21 budget is “budget in place” which refers to keeping the City’s workforce, operations, and many of the projects intact even with an expected revenue decrease due to the economic effects from the coronavirus pandemic. The budget process began in January with each department working with the finance department and the City Manager to develop the budget line items. Furthermore, individual meetings were held with each elected official to gather feedback prior to the May 26 budget workshop. The City’s fiscal year begins July 1.
Several of highlights regarding the development of the FY21 budget are as follows:
- Paducah is projecting a 10% decrease in major revenue sources which directly impacts the General Fund, the City’s main operating fund. The FY2021 General Fund budget is $35,888,465 which is a $85,000 decrease from the current fiscal year’s original budget.
- Since the Investment Fund is funded by the payroll tax which is projected to decrease 15%, the budget is $5,113,560.
- The following measures are included to balance the budget:
- A hiring freeze and the freezing of merit increases for the fiscal year;
- Use approximately $1.5 million from the unreserved General Fund cash balance in excess of the required 12% reserves;
- Use $500,000 of reserves from the Debt Service Fund; and
- Use $789,375 from the Radio Fund to pay the City’s portion of the 911 operations.
Even with the effects of the expected revenue decreases from COVID-19, the City has positive budgetary news to share:
- The budget contains all annual debt requirements in the amount of $3,968,945.
- The annual pension contributions are remaining flat for this fiscal year with rates provided by the State.
- The budget contains a 2.5% cost-of-living increase as contractually obligated for IAFF and FOP. This percentage is for the non-represented employees as well. AFSCME is receiving its contractually obligated 2% increase.
- The budget includes significant funding for current capital projects and some new purchases including adding $250,000 to start the televising and cleaning of the stormwater system and $400,000 set aside for a project in association with FEMA for the dredging of the sediment near the Transient Boat Dock.
- The budget includes the required 12% reserves for the General Fund.
- The budget includes funding for the Grant-in-Aid program.
- The budget includes no increase in property tax rates.
The City Team plans to review the budget numbers after six months into the FY21 budget, more than likely in February, to review the revenue projections and make any spending adjustments. The Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Book will be placed on the City of Paducah website in July. To view the current year’s budget and budget information dating back to 2005, visit http://paducahky.gov/city-budget.
Discussion About Reopening Playgrounds, Splashpads, and Basketball Courts
The Paducah Board of Commissioners and Parks & Recreation Department Director Mark Thompson discussed the reopening of playgrounds, splashpads, and basketball courts. In mid-March, the City restricted access to those parks amenities in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus as recommended by State and federal guidelines and Governor Beshear’s March 19 Executive Order prohibiting mass gatherings.
Thompson said he participated in a meeting today with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with the National Recreation and Park Association to discuss recommendations for reopening playgrounds. The recommendations include a thorough initial cleaning since playgrounds have been closed for months and then daily disinfecting. Other guidelines include proper signage that would include safety recommendations and the maximum capacity of children based upon the playground’s square footage. Another guideline includes the placement of hand sanitizing stations next to the playgrounds. Thompson hopes to be able to announce the reopening of Paducah’s playgrounds in early July.
Regarding the Robert Coleman Sprayground and the splashpad at the Pat & Jim Brockenborough Rotary Health Park, the Parks staff is working on getting the mechanical components and signage ready to reopen those two facilities in mid-July.
At this time, Thompson says he has not received enough guidance from federal and state authorities on how to safely reopen the public basketball courts. He has asked the Purchase District Health Department to gather information from the State.
Sale of 5400 Commerce Drive to KSR Legacy Investment Corporation (approval at a called meeting on July 7)
The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance to authorize the entering into a deed with McCracken County and KSR Legacy Investment Corporation to convey the industrial building located at 5400 Commerce Drive to KSR. KSR desires to purchase the building, which is jointly owned by the City and McCracken County, for $3.6 million. This amount will allow the City to retire the debt on the bond. In May, Greater Paducah Economic Development announced that Utah-based Plastic Services and Products, LLC is re-establishing production at this site (the former Genova Products facility) with the intent to hire 80 employees initially. City Manager Jim Arndt said, “It’s a wonderful thing for the City and the County. It’s a wonderful thing for the community since it’s good to welcome a new business partner to the community.” Mayor Brandi Harless said, “This is what economic development should feel like in the community where we are selling assets, where we are making money for the city taxpayers, and we are bringing in jobs simultaneously.”
Agreement with HDR for Grant Writing Assistance for Sprocket
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved a municipal order for a $40,000 agreement with HDR Engineering for professional grant writing assistance, a feasibility study, and environmental assessment for Sprocket, Inc. This funding was approved by the City of Paducah earlier this month to assist Sprocket in applying for funds through the Economic Development Administration (EDA) Cares Act Economic Adjustment Assistance Program for the makerspace project. Sprocket is eligible for $1.2 million in funding. Sprocket is partnering with Cape Girardeau-based Codefi to build an approximately 8800 square foot Co-Working and Business Start-up Incubator at 3121 Broadway.
- Reappointment of Bill Bone, Stewart Tom Shoulta, and Fay Kimmins to the Paducah-McCracken County Senior Citizens, Inc. Board.
- Reappointment of Phyllis Clymer to the Paducah Civic Beautification Board.
- Municipal order approved for updates in the City’s group life insurance program with Anthem.
- Municipal order approved for a $700 contract amendment with Tyler Technologies for the enterprise resource planning software project. This amendment is for custom programming related to the property tax billing forms.
- Municipal order approved for a contract with Greater Paducah Economic Development Council with the City providing $250,000 for Fiscal Year 2021.
- Ordinance approved for the intent to annex three parcels: 1815 Olivet Church Road and 6215 Blandville Road as requested by the property owners and 5269 Hinkleville Road which contains an abandoned home. The total area to be annexed is 8.6 acres. A final annexation ordinance will follow at a future meeting.
- The Parks & Recreation Department will start July 1 processing special event permits.