Note: Mayor George Bray was unable to attend this meeting.
Robert Cherry Civic Center Update
Director of Parks and Recreation Amie Clark updated the Board on the Robert Cherry Civic Center Renovation Project. Clark said the renovation is approximately 65 percent complete. The project includes an updated community center area with a capacity of 256 seated patrons, a catering kitchen, audio-visual connectivity, office space for the relocation of several Parks and Recreation administrative employees, keyless entry, updated landscaping, and a new parking layout. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of December with a tentative open house in January. Clark said they hope to open the rental calendar to accept March reservations soon.
As part of this project, Clark reviewed nine similar-sized facilities to gather information on policies, capacity, reservation fees, and deposits to make sure that the Cherry Civic Center is comparable. Since the fees have not been updated in a decade, Clark proposed the following schedule of fees:
- Rental fee - $750 for Monday through Thursday; $1200 for Friday and Saturday with no Sunday rentals. There would be the option of a reduced rate of $500 to rent the facility for five hours or less. Holiday rentals would be $1500 per day.
- Non-profits would receive a 10 percent discount.
- A 50 percent deposit would be required at the time of reservation along with a $500 refundable deposit.
Clark added that the Parks and Recreation Department will begin providing staff support for the Civic Center’s events. After gathering additional feedback, a revised schedule of fees will be brought to the Commission for approval.
Convention Center Roof Project
City Manager Daron Jordan clarified recent dialogue regarding the Convention Center roof repairs. The City is partnering with the County on the project and will cover the costs for the portion of the roof owned by the City. The City owns the Showroom Lounge which is located at the back of the Convention Center. The entire Lounge area is not being reroofed; however, there is a roof section level with the Convention Center that will be replaced with costs to be covered by the City. Jordan also clarified that separate from the city-owned roof section, the roof project is being funded by the transient room tax collected by McCracken County.
Health Insurance Plan Update
Benefits Advisor DJ Story with HUB International provided an overview of the City of Paducah’s 2024 health insurance plan through Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield as the City’s third-party administrator. Those who participate in the City’s health plan will have NO change to their health insurance premiums for 2024. The City has maintained the same health insurance premium rates consecutively for 12 years which is quite unusual and an indication of the good management of the health plan and the City’s dedication to employee wellness. Furthermore, dental and vision premiums are remaining the same as this current year. To comply with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) minimums, there is a change in the deductibles for the health insurance plans. For example, the deductible for a single person on the Investor Plan is increasing from $3000 to $3200. The City of Paducah has a self-insured health insurance plan which means the premiums paid into the plan by the employees are used to pay the claims.
Actions taken by the Paducah Board of Commissioners regarding benefits, wellness, and health insurance are as follows:
- Municipal order approved for the 2024 health insurance, vision, and dental premiums.
- Municipal order approved for a contract with Peel & Holland for the administration of the City’s health insurance.
- Municipal order approved authorizing an agreement between the City of Paducah and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield to provide administrative services for 2024 related to the City’s health insurance plan.
- Municipal order approved for an agreement with Voya Financial Advisors, Inc. to provide stop loss insurance which is used when a plan participant’s claims exceed a set value or when the City’s total claims exceed a set maximum.
- Municipal order approved for an agreement with Healthworks Corporate Wellness and Health Services to administer the City’s 2024 wellness plan.
- Municipal order approved setting the policy for the funds provided by the City to eligible employees for 2024 in the health and wellness plans (also called spending credits).
- Municipal order approved for long-term disability insurance with Mutual of Omaha effective January 1, 2024. This is a new benefit offered by the City of Paducah for full-time employees.
- Municipal order approved for voluntary insurance benefits for employees through Colonial Life.
Safe Haven Baby Box Project
Paducah Fire Chief Steve Kyle provided an overview of the agreement with Safe Haven Baby Boxes, Inc. for the installation of a safe haven box at one of Paducah’s fire stations. The Board approved the agreement. Chief Kyle said Kentucky law allows for a parent to anonymously leave a newborn infant with an emergency medical service provider, police officer, or firefighter. A Safe Haven Box is an enclosed, temperature-controlled area that will be installed along the fire station’s outer wall. Once a baby is placed inside, an alert system will notify emergency services of the newborn so that the baby can be safely retrieved. The Board also approved an agreement with Hope Unlimited which requested the Safe Haven Box for Paducah-McCracken County. Private donations through Hope Unlimited are helping to cover the City’s cost for the expenses related to the Safe Haven Box lease, installation, and annual service fee.
City of Paducah Grants Administrator Hope Reasons provided an update of grants activity. In the previous fiscal year, the City submitted 23 grant applications. So far, 17 of those grants have been awarded, four were denied, and the City still is waiting for notifications about two of those grants. Currently, the City is managing $19.7 million in grant funding. During this past quarter, the City submitted five grant applications requesting a total of $6.8 million. Reasons also highlighted how Market House Theatre, the Paducah Symphony Orchestra, National Quilt Museum, and the Housing Authority of Paducah used funding they received through the City’s Grant-in-Aid funding process. Regarding the Hotel Metropolitan’s Purple Room Project which received a $55,000 African American Cultural Heritage Foundation grant, the exterior of the building has been painted, new windows installed, and a concrete floor has been poured.
Keiler Park Playground
The Board approved a Municipal Order accepting an $81,885 Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant to update Keiler Park’s playground. Keiler Park is located at 2900 Broadway. The Board also approved a GameTime Playground Grant requesting up to $80,000 toward the purchase of inclusive and accessible playground equipment.
Paducah Water Cleaner Water Program Grant Projects
In April, Paducah Water General Manager Jason Petersen outlined three projects that will use funding from the Cleaner Water Program Grant with the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority. Paducah Water received three grant awards totaling more than $1.6 million. The City Commission approved Municipal Orders for each project in April. At this meeting, the Board approved the projects again with a new acceptance date to fulfill the granting authority’s required sequencing order.
- Painting and rehabilitation of water tanks on U.S. 60 and Interstate-24 (interior only).
- Construction of an air stripping unit at the Paducah Water treatment plant.
- The addition of the West McCracken County water infrastructure, which total 85 miles of water mains, to Paducah Water’s hydraulic model.
Additional Meeting Information
- Municipal Order approved for a contract for services between the City and Paducah Junior College, Inc. with the City providing $100,000 toward the Community Scholarship Program.
- Municipal Order approved to apply for a Community Development Block Grant requesting $200,000 for CenterPoint Recovery Center.
- Municipal Order approved authorizing an agreement with Kentucky League of Cities (KLC) for a certification program as the City of Paducah strives to become a Certified City of Ethics. Once the agreement is executed, KLC will review Paducah’s current ordinance for compliance with KRS 65.003, offer recommendations for ordinance updates, and conduct training of elected officials, the Board of Ethics, and city staff. To date, 37 Kentucky cities have gone through the certification process.
- Ordinance approved for a contract modification with BFW Engineering & Testing for the Buckner Lane Bridge Replacement Project. This is a contract reduction by $8120 for a FEMA flood report line item which was not needed for the project.
- Ordinance introduced to approve the final plat of subdivision and surety for the Trails End Subdivision located at 125 Ridgeview Street. This action also accepts the dedication of right of way of Ridgeview Street, Joey Way, and Petter Avenue.