To view the entire meeting, visit https://youtu.be/O4HLFEbSMJI.
After hearing comments from the public and the Commissioners, the Paducah Board of Commissioners met for nearly an hour and a half in closed session as permitted by KRS 61.810(1)(f) for issues which might lead to the discipline or dismissal of a member i.e. City Commissioner. After returning to open session, Mayor George Bray stated that the Board asked for Commissioner David Guess to resign related to text messages sent on November 8, 2022, to a City employee which included language with racial overtones. Commissioner Guess declined. The Board approved a resolution charging Commissioner Guess with misconduct pursuant to KRS 83A.040(9). Commissioner Guess is entitled to a full public hearing before the Board of Commissioners which will be scheduled in the near future. To view the resolution and its attachments in addition to the signed request for Commissioner Guess’ resignation, visit Resolution Documents and Resignation Request.
Kentucky League of Cities (KLC) Chief of Staff Martha Cosby officially presented the Paducah Board of Commissioners with the 2022 KLC City Government of the Year award. The award recognizes a city that has elevated its community through quality governance or done something transformational for the city. An independent board of judges from around the state selected Paducah which applied based upon the City Commission’s decision to prioritize the Southside and develop the Southside Rise & Shine Neighborhood Spruce Up initiative.
The Board presented Commissioner Carol Gault with an engraved appreciation gift in recognition of her years of service to the City of Paducah. Commissioner Gault’s term officially ends December 31. She has served as City Commissioner since January 2021 with previous terms from 2009 through 2016. Mayor Bray said that he is honored to serve with Commissioner Gault and thanked her for her leadership on the 911 Committee.
The Board approved a municipal order authorizing the City Manager to issue a request for bids for the renovation of the Robert Cherry Civic Center located at 2701 Park Avenue. Architect Jeff Canter with PFGW Architects updated the Board on the progress of the construction design documents. The Civic Center received significant damage on September 27 due to a traffic crash that caused a semi to hit the east side of the building. Canter estimated the damage to total more than $350,000. The plan is to issue the request for bids possibly in late January to repair the damage and to renovate the interior of the facility. The renovation project uses the existing building footprint with three-quarters of the existing building to provide assembly, kitchen, and storage space with a seating capacity for 160 to 256 people depending upon table configurations and open floor space. The remaining building square footage is designed to provide office and reception space for the Parks & Recreation Department. Once bids are issued, received, and a contract awarded, the construction phase is estimated to take 12 to 16 months. The Board has set aside $1.8 million of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for the project.
The Board approved a Municipal Order accepting the amended Development Agreement between the City and Weyland Ventures Development for the City Block Project. This project is bounded by Broadway, Water Street, North 2nd, and Jefferson Street. The first phase for this transformative project for downtown Paducah involves the construction of an 81-room boutique hotel along Jefferson Street and public parking, greenspace, and facility improvements in the center of the block. The hotel will include two restaurants and retail space on the first floor with a rooftop bar. A future residential unit with retail space is planned for the side of the block along Broadway. Weyland plans to break ground on the hotel construction in January. Hotel construction will take approximately 14 months with an opening expected in spring 2024. During the hotel construction, 100 public parking spaces will be maintained.
The 2022 Christmas Parade, which had 95 entries, was held December 3 in downtown Paducah with the theme Christmas in Candyland. The winners of the parade are as follows: