PADUCAH, Ky. (2/26/14) – Highlights from the Paducah City Commission are as follows:
Citizen Survey Community Engagement/Neighborhood Revitalization Committee Updates
Public Information Officer Pam Spencer presented the Mayor and Commissioners an update on the process made by two of the three committees working on priorities determined by the Paducah Board of Commissioners and staff at a post-citizen survey workshop last June.
At that meeting last June, the elected officials and staff selected three priorities for the City to strengthen:
City’s Role in Economic Development: The Economic Development committee continues to meet. At this meeting, the strategies and tactics recommended by the other two committees were presented. Each committee is led by a director-team in addition to one or two elected officials, city staff, and community members. The two committees discussed at this meeting held meetings last September, October, and November.
Community Engagement: To begin the process last September, the Community Engagement committee first reviewed existing methods of informing and engaging the community. One recommendation is to name and promote an engagement initiative to help citizens know about the various ways to find information and be involved. The three strategies discussed by the committee are:
- Effecting under-standing through public information;
- Obtaining feedback through consultation; and
- Creating empowerment opportunities through engagement.
Some of the tactics recommended by the committee include increasing the traffic to the City of Paducah website, answering citizen-submitted questions at meetings and through written methods, visiting with citizens in their neighborhoods and locations such as coffee shops, and reviewing a 311 informational system that would allow citizens to report information and/or problems.
Neighborhood Revitalization: The Neighborhood Revitalization committee narrowed their recommendations to two strategies:
- Enhancing neighborhood code enforcement, structure demolition, infrastructure improvements, and infill development strategies and
- Creating a master plan for bikeway neighborhood connectivity including bike lanes and shared use paths.
Regarding the first strategy, some of the recommended tactics include increasing inspections to rid alleys and properties of rubbish, reviewing and possibly increasing the demolition budget, providing house plans at no charge as an incentive for infill development on city-owned property and property in low to moderate census tracts, continuing neighborhood revitalization efforts modeled after the Fountain Avenue Neighborhood plan, and selecting the next neighborhood to be revitalized. Under the second strategy, tactics include applying for grants including the Safe Routes to Schools grant, educating bicyclists and motorists, and holding a public forum to seek out the best routes for Share the Road signage.
The strategies and tactics identified by the committees are being directed to the applicable department(s) for administrative review and consideration.
The tactics range in scope from those requiring only minor enhancements to programs/procedures already in place, to those requiring significant research, funding, and policy development. It is expected that some tactics will be brought forward in the decision-making process associated with the upcoming budget development and adoption.
Paducah’s Citizen Survey was conducted by the National Research Center in 2013 with 1200 surveys mailed to randomly selected addresses.
Union Agreements with FOP and IAFF
The Mayor and Commissioners approved two ordinances for contracts between the City and the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 168 and between the City and the Fraternal Order of Police.
Each current contract expires June 30, 2014. The new contracts are three-year contracts which will be in effect from July 1, 2014 until June 30, 2017.
Negotiations between the City and both unions were held in January with both memberships voting to approve the contracts. Both contracts include proposed annual wage increases of 1.0%, 1.5%, and 2.0% in 2014, 2015, and 2016.
The FOP contract was signed by FOP President Detective Anthony Copeland and Mayor Kaler. IAFF President Barry Carter along with Mayor Kaler signed the IAFF contract.
Dogwood Trail 50th Anniversary
Paducah Civic Beautification Board member Dabney Haugh outlined the events scheduled for the 50th anniversary of the Paducah Dogwood Trail, a lighted trail that covers approximately 10 miles in which residents light their dogwoods, flowering shrubs, and lawns.
To commemorate the event, CBB board member Carol Vanderboegh has created 400 dogwood pins.
The pins will be on sale on Saturday, March 8 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Grace Episcopal Church located at 820 Broadway.
Proceeds will benefit the Children's Memorial at Noble Park. The pins come in either shades of pink or shades of white. Pins with center embellishments are $15 while those without center embellishments are $10.
The CBB also is bringing back the Dogwood Art & Photography Contest with the winning entries to be displayed at City Hall, April through June, as part of the Mayor’s Art Club.
This year the Dogwood Tree sale will be 10 a.m-2 p.m. Saturday, April 12 at six local nurseries:
- Blooms & Gardens
- Eads Garden Center
- Edwards Nursery
- James Sanders Nursery
- Montgomery Gardens
- Wahl's Landscape and Garden Shoppe
One dollar from the sale of each tree will go toward purchasing dogwoods for the Children’s Memorial Garden.
The Dogwood Trail Bike Ride organized by BikeWorld will be April 13 at 2:30 p.m.
For more information about the Dogwood Trail including a map, trail history, information about the art and photography contest, and a link to videos about the trail, visit http://www.paducahky.gov/paducah/dogwood-trail.
- Housing Authority of Paducah Executive Director Cal Ross and Vice Chairman John Shadle presented the City with the annual payment in lieu of taxes check for $145,925. Ross would like to amend the agreement between the City and Housing Authority to limit the amount paid by the Housing Authority to the City to the federal appropriation percentage for federal operating funds. If the agreement were amended, this year’s payment would have been reduced to $119,658. Ross also presented the Mayor and Commissioners with the Housing Authority’s audit.
- Boards and Commissions: Rafiel Banks and Steven Smith appointed to the Paducah Human Rights Commission; Beverly McKinley reappointed to the Nuisance Code Enforcement Board; and Jipaum Askew-Robinson reappointed to the Paducah-McCracken County Urban Renewal & Community Development Agency.
- Personnel actions approved which include the hiring of Downtown Development Specialist, Melinda Winchester. This is a new position in the Planning Department.
- Municipal order approved to apply for the Cycle Kids-Fit Kids are Happy Kids grant in the amount of $15,000. No local match is required. If awarded, the grant would be used by the Parks Services Department to create an after-school program geared focusing on bicycle safety and nutrition for 4th and 5th grade students. The grant would provide teaching materials and training, bicycles and helmets. More information can be found at www.cyclekids.org.
- Municipal order approved to apply for a grant through the Kentucky Certified Local Govern-ment Program in the amount of $6,300 with a local match of $4200. If awarded, the Planning Department will to host a training event with programs through the National Alliance of Preser-vation Commissions and the Kentucky Heritage Council. The conference would provide train-ing hours for staff and HARC, Planning Commission, and URCDA board members.
- Ordinance approved accepting a Kentucky League of Cities Safety Grant in the amount of $3000 to be used to purchase a security camera. The grant requires a match of $3000.
- Ordinance approved for a contract for professional construction inspection services with ICA Engineering for the Greenway Trail segment under construction. The inspection services, not to exceed $35,000, will be used during the construction of the 52-foot long lighted underpass to allow for the safe crossing of North 8th Street (U.S. 45X). This is an anticipated component of the project with funds appropriated for it.
- Ordinance approved for a contract with Federal Materials Company, LLC for concrete ready-mix to be used for a variety of construction and street repair projects. The contract is a two year contract that includes an additional one-year renewal.
- Ordinance introduced (vote March 11) to authorize the change order with Jim Smith Contracting Co. in the amount of $17,139.83 for the final reconciliation and tabulation of construction items for the Ohio River Boat Launch project located at 6th and Burnett Streets. The change order is a 0.66% increase to the contract bringing it to slightly more than $2.6 million. The boat launch is open to the public. Mayor Kaler and Commissioner Sandra Wilson attended last weekend’s Big Cat Quest Fishing Tournament at the boat launch. They said that the anglers and event organizers were very complimentary of the new facility saying it was one of the nicest in this part of the country. The City still has lighting, three security cameras, and signage left to install at the facility.
- Ordinance introduced (vote March 11) to close a portion of Ridgewood Street between Topeka Avenue and Olympia Avenue. This closure is requested by adjacent property owners. The Paducah Planning Commission held a public hearing on Feb. 17, 2014 and is making a positive recommendation for the closure. This is an unimproved, unpaved section of right-of-way.
- Ordinance introduced (vote March 11) to close a portion of an alley from Bethel Street toward Main Street. This closure is requested by adjacent property owners. The Paducah Planning Commission held a public hearing on Feb.17, 2014 and is making a positive recommendation for the alley closure.
Information provided by Pam Spencer City of Paducah
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