Mayor George Bray presented proclamations
- To various mental health service providers including Mercy Health, Child Watch, Kentucky Care, Merryman House, and Compass Counseling proclaiming May as Mental Health Awareness Month.
- For Public Service Recognition Week as May 7 through 13 urging all citizens to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of government employees at all levels.
- To Tree Advisory Board Chairman Jonathan E. Perkins in celebration of Arbor Day on April 28.
Mayor Bray’s Opening Remarks
- Mayor Bray offered his condolences to the families of two prominent Paducah artists: Avery Crounse and Joan Dance. Crounse was an award-winning director and photographer. Dance was a mixed-media artist.
- Mayor Bray announced that the property proposed to become the Terrace Hills subdivision off Pecan Drive has been sold to a group of investors. This group is planning to develop a subdivision that protects more of the tree canopy while constructing fewer homes.
- Mayor Bray said that the County has approved a contract with an architectural firm to prepare the documents for the Convention Center roof project. Since the City owns the back part of the Convention Center, the former Showroom Lounge, the City will be working with the Convention Center and the McCracken County Fiscal Court regarding that portion of the project.
City Block Project Construction Update
Mayor George Bray and Planning Director Nic Hutchison provided an update on the City Block Project. Site preparation began in late January following the groundbreaking celebration for this transformative project. This project, a partnership between the City of Paducah and Weyland Ventures, will reenergize the downtown Paducah block bounded by Second Street, Broadway, Water Street, and Jefferson. Contractor Ray Black & Son has been working on the public amenities portion of the project with recent work to demolish the former parking lot and grade the property. Work will begin soon on underground utilities and stormwater amenities. During the summer, Ray Black & Son will complete site concrete, sidewalks, landscaping, paving and striping, and lighting. The parking lot and public amenities are expected to open to the public in late summer with the goal of opening by BBQ on the River. Also this summer, a separate contractor will begin constructing the foundation for the 81-room hotel on Jefferson Street. The hotel construction is scheduled to be finished in the fall of 2024. Then, after the interior finishes are completed, there will be a grand opening in 2025. The second phase of the project is a mixed-use facility on Broadway to include residential, commercial, and retail space. Construction on the second phase is expected to begin next spring with completion in 2025.
Human Rights Commission and Diversity Specialist Discussion
Mayor George Bray discussed with the Board repopulating the Paducah Human Rights Commission Board by July. Currently, the Board is inactive with all terms expired. Human Rights calls are answered in City Hall and forwarded to either the State or City Manager’s office for review. The Paducah Board of Commissioners agreed that reenergizing the Human Rights Commission is beneficial along with providing it staff support. Human Resources Director Stefanie Wilcox discussed the addition of a full-time position to the Human Resources Department. The Board approved a motion to begin the recruitment process for a Diversity Specialist. In addition to supporting the Human Rights Commission, this employee would lead internal diversity, equity, and inclusion training efforts, review policies and pay equity, and work to recruit a diverse City workforce.
Relocation of Dog Parks from Stuart Nelson Park to Noble Park
The Board approved a motion authorizing the City Manager to issue a request for bids for the construction of a dog park with a small dog enclosure and a large dog enclosure at Noble Park. Prior to the motion, the Board discussed design options for the dog park which will be in an area adjacent to the Anna Baumer building and behind the amphitheatre. This area, which is similar in size to the current dog parks, has natural shade and open running space for dogs. Plus, it is secluded from Lake Montgomery and associated waterfowl. The Board looked at two options: 1) the entire dog park on the same side of the road as the Anna Baumer building and 2) the large dog enclosure near the building and the small dog enclosure across the roadway and closer to the floodwall levee. The board selected Option 2 since that layout moves the dog parks away from the building which would allow the Anna Baumer building to be used for rentals. The next steps will be to complete the design and construction documents with the goal of opening the dog parks at Noble Park before the closure of the existing dog parks at Stuart Nelson Park. The access road into the area also will be improved.
Contract for the Construction of Pickleball Courts at Noble Park
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance for an agreement with PCC Sports for the construction of pickleball courts. The project includes the construction of an eight-court pickleball facility with amenities including fencing around the courts, lighting, shade structures, benches, and sidewalks. The courts will be constructed in Noble Park across from the tennis courts. Parks & Recreation Department Director Amie Clark said the courts will take approximately two and a half months to construct the goal to begin construction in mid-May.
The Board approved the following municipal orders related to grants:
- Kentucky Office of Homeland Security Grant requesting $29,130 which will be used for the purchase of an enclosed trailer for the Bomb Squad. No local match is required.
- Kentucky Office of Homeland Security Grant requesting $28,085 which would be used to purchase security cameras and systems. No local match is required.
Boards and Commissions
- Appointment of David Guess to the Paducah-McCracken County Joint Sewer Agency.
- Appointment of John Spurlin to the Code Enforcement Board.
- Reappointment of Edward Box to the Civil Service Commission.
Additional Meeting Information
- Members of the Paducah Tilghman High School Student Equity Advisory Council (SEAC) gave a presentation about this 15-member group and its advocacy roles at the school, among other schools, and with the community. SEAC is holding a community forum on May 11 at 5:30 p.m. at Seamen’s Church Institute. SEAC’s mission statement is “advocating the student voice by fostering inclusivity for all demographics.”
- Paducah Convention & Tourism Bureau Director Mary Hammond introduced Kentucky Tourism, Arts & Heritage Secretary Lindy Casebier. Hammond also introduced Master Papermaker Sandro Tiberi from Fabriano, Italy. Fabriano is a fellow UNESCO Creative City of Crafts and Folk Art. This year, Paducah is celebrating its 10th Anniversary as a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
- Mayor Bray and Commissioners Wilson, Henderson, and Smith approved a motion to ratify the execution of the Settlement Agreement with David Guess. Guess removed himself from the dais prior to the vote.
- Municipal Order approved adopting the annual Administrative Plan for the Section 8 program. The Section 8 program is managed by the Housing Authority of Paducah.
- Ordinance introduced to close a 4356 square foot section of Monroe Street between 200 and 306 North 2nd Street.
- Ordinance introduced to accept the maintenance responsibilities for certain streets from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
- Ordinance introduced to establish an Energy Project Assessment District for energy projects in Paducah.