Commission Meeting Highlights - February 13, 2024

Date of Release: 
February 13, 2024


Southside Update - Walter Jetton Housing Program

Director of Planning Nic Hutchison and Planner Palmer Stroup provided an update on the Southside Neighborhoods Initiative, specifically related to the residential incentive programs. After collaborations with the Southside Steering Committee and community stakeholders, the City launched in July 2023 two residential grant programs with the initial focus on a section of the Walter Jetton and Uppertown neighborhoods roughly from Washington Street to Caldwell and from 13th to 18th Street.

So far, the Planning Department has received a total of 14 applications with eight currently approved (six microgrant and two rehab/new construction applications). Each application is scored and reviewed for completeness. To date, the City has awarded nearly $28,000 in microgrant incentive funds and nearly $35,000 in rehab/new construction grants. Microgrant projects, which will match up to $5000 of the first $10,000 of a homeowner’s investment, include a roof replacement and plumbing repairs. For the home rehab/new construction grant, Stroup showed a picture of a home under construction on Oscar Cross Avenue. The home is being built through the Paducah Alliance of Neighbors and will received the maximum grant award of $27,000.

Stroup outlined the various outreach and engagement completed to date including town hall meetings, informational mailers and tables at events, door hangers, door-to-door neighborhood walks, and engagements with the faith-based community. In looking ahead, Stroup recommends continuing to target this section of the Walter Jetton and Uppertown neighborhoods with a goal of receiving more applications. Additional community engagement and outreach activities will be held to assist residents in the application process. To learn more about the incentives, visit Southside Incentive Programs.


Paducah Police Department Annual Crime Statistics Presentation

Police Chief Brian Laird presented an update on the community’s annual crime statistics. A few highlights are as follows:

  • In 2023, there were 3658 total crimes (Part 1 and Part 2 crimes) reported. This is a 0.14 percent decrease as compared to 2022.
  • Part 1 crimes saw a two percent decrease as compared to 2022. Part 1 crimes, as classified by the FBI, consist of “major” crimes including murder, rape, and robbery. One of the most significant reductions was the number of homicides in the city: There were six in 2022, compared to one in 2023. The number of arson, rape, and robbery reports also decreased in 2023. Aggravated assaults saw an increase.
  • From 2019 through 2023, the Part 1 crime trend is declining with a 31 percent decrease over that five-year period.
  • Part 2 crime saw a slight change as compared to 2022 with a 0.48 percent increase. Part II crimes include simple assaults, forgery and counterfeiting, fraud, criminal mischief, weapons offenses, sexual offenses (other than rape), drug abuse violations, liquor violations, and offenses against family and children.  
  • Officers investigated 1826 collisions in 2023 which is almost the same number as 2022. Injuries were reported in 311 of the crashes.
  • There was one fatal crash in the city in 2023. There were three fatalities in 2022.
  • Regarding traffic enforcement, officers issued 3810 traffic citations, a 65 percent increase as compared to 2022. Officers also increased the number of written warnings.
  • There were 323 DUI arrests in 2023, a 33 percent increase as compared to 2022.
  • The 911 dispatch center received a total of 134,830 emergency and non-emergency calls in 2023, a five percent decrease as compared to 2022. However, the total number of dispatches from 911 increased by 16 percent from 2022 to 2023 with a total number of 103,600 dispatches in 2023. Paducah Police had 50,604 dispatches with 40,565 for the McCracken County Sheriff’s Office. The remaining dispatches were to Paducah Fire, the County fire departments, emergency management, animal control, coroner, and Mercy.


Paducah Sports Park – Upgrade to Stuart Nelson Park Road

The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved a Municipal Order for the proposed construction design of Stuart Nelson Park Road as recommended by the McCracken County Sports Tourism Commission. This action also authorizes Peck Flannery Gream Warren (PFGW) to advertise a request for bids for construction. At the previous City Commission meeting the Board approved the 95% design documents and authorized releasing a Request for Bids for the Paducah Sports Park Project. Improving Stuart Nelson Park Road, one of the main access points into the Sports Park, will improve the traffic flow in and out of the park. The existing roadway is narrow with only two lanes, no sidewalks, and no curbs and gutters. The project will widen the roadway, add a turning lane on Stuart Nelson Park Road at U.S. 60, add curbs and gutters to improve stormwater drainage, and add a sidewalk on the east side of the roadway. The McCracken County Fiscal Court approved the Stuart Nelson Park road design at its meeting held last night.

The outdoor sports complex, the Paducah Sports Park, will be constructed at the former Bluegrass Downs site and Stuart Nelson Park. After the bidding process and the one-year construction period, the goal is for the facility to open in 2025. Learn more by visiting Paducah Sports Park.  


Columbia Theatre Façade Stabilization Funding Pledge

The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved a Municipal Order pledging $500,000 for the stabilization of the Columbia Theatre’s façade. The Columbia Theatre, built in 1927, is located at 504 Broadway. The building needs repairs with Columbia Art House, Inc. working to find funding to complete the stabilization which is estimated to cost $1.5 million. The City’s pledge is contingent upon the Columbia Art House successfully raising the remaining funds before June 30, 2026. Learn more about the Columbia Theatre at Columbia Art House.


Quarterly Grants Update

City of Paducah Grants Administrator Hope Reasons provided an update of grants activity. The City of Paducah currently manages $19.7 million in grant funding. This quarter, the City submitted six grant applications requesting a total of $245,585.  Awards for October through December 2023 include a KY Office of Homeland Security grant, GameTime playground equipment, a KLC Liability grant, and a Safe Streets and Roads for All grant. Reasons also mentioned that two meetings including a strategic planning meeting have been held for the National Park Service grant that is helping Paducah determine the next phase for the Greenway Trail. City Manager Jordan mentioned that the City is looking at developing a training opportunity to assist local non-profits in their search for grant funding.


2023 Commission Priorities Annual Report

Assistant City Manager Michelle Smolen shared the 2023 Commission Priorities Annual Report. This report showcases the achievements on the priority action items and continuous improvement items selected by the Board more than a year ago. Over the weekend, the Board worked to select the 2024 priorities.  To read the entire 2023 report, visit Commission Priorities. Each action item has a dedicated webpage.


Boards and Commissions

  • Appointment of Matthew Turley and Tara Sawvel to the Code Enforcement Board.
  • Reappointment of Joshua Tyler Parker, Alex Blackwell, and Chris Cappock and the appointment of Neel Carroll and Phillip Hudson to the Brooks Stadium Commission.


Additional Meeting Information

  • Municipal Order approved accepting the $200,000 Community Development Block Grant on behalf of Four Rivers Recovery Center.
  • Municipal Order approved amending the Robert Cherry Civic Center Schedule of Fees. This amendment adds the rates for consecutive day rentals.
  • Municipal Order approved updating the City’s Investment Policy pursuant to KRS Chapter 66.
  • Municipal Order approved for the Energy Project Assessment District (EPAD) Program Financing Agreement and the Notice of Assessment for the Blockware Mining, Inc. PACE financing.  EPADs are a tool that allow commercial property owners to repay private loans for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation measures through a voluntary assessment administered by the City of Paducah in the same manner as a property tax bill. The program allows property owners to secure more favorable financing terms than traditional financing mechanisms.
  • Ordinance introduced creating Chapter 24 of the Paducah Code of Ordinances titled Natural Gas. This new section will require approved natural gas franchisees to make quarterly payments of 2 percent of the franchisee’s revenue. The ordinance also requires any franchisee to repair damage that they cause to the right-of-way. Kentucky’s Constitution, Sections 163 and 164, and Chapter 96 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes authorize cities to require public utilities, including providers of natural gas, to operate under franchise agreements and to grant them the right to use public right-of-way upon certain terms.
  • Ordinance introduced amending Paducah Code of Ordinances Chapter 108 relating to Telecommunications. Staff is recommending changes to the applications, insurance and bond, compensation, and additional requirements sections.