Due to the successful revitalization of the Lower Town and Fountain Avenue Neighborhoods, City Manager Jeff Pederson and Planning Director Steve Ervin led the Paducah Board of Commissioners in a workshop regarding neighborhood revitalization, neighborhood changes, and healthy neighborhoods. Pederson said, “The purpose tonight is to engage the Commission in a review and discussion of what we want to accomplish with neighborhood revitalization. We have had some wonderful outcomes and look forward to doing that again.” Mayor Gayle Kaler said, “Our main goal is to have more investment in the City, bring families back to the City, and have save and healthy neighborhoods.” Ervin says a healthy neighborhood is a place where it makes economic and emotional sense for people to invest time, energy, and money. The ultimate goals for neighborhood revitalization include are to increase a neighborhood’s safety, create a strong ‘sense of place,’ and become a place where people want to live and invest.
Ervin said that in selecting a neighborhood to revitalize, the following question needs to be asked: What will make or makes the next neighborhood attractive enough for people to be willing to reinvest their money and live in the neighborhood when they have the means to live elsewhere in other currently desirable neighborhoods? Ervin also explained that in order to create positive change in a neighborhood, we need to first determine factors such as what is working or not working in terms of people’s decisions to invest and what issues have led to the neighborhood’s decline. Also, to revitalize a neighborhood it should incorporate a team approach, as has been done in Fountain Avenue and Lower Town, involving the neighborhood residents, community, and city departments. Ervin said, “It’s creating that vision and selling that vision within a well-defined area.”
Ervin also provided a list of selection criteria for consideration as Paducah goes through the process to select the next neighborhood revitalization project. The criteria include
Ervin suggested to the Commission that the Urban Renewal & Community Development Agency (URCDA) be asked to assist with the neighborhood selection plan by selecting several neighborhoods and coming up with strategies for each neighborhood. Ervin said, “We will look at pros and cons of all neighborhoods.” URCDA is a board authorized under Kentucky Revised Statutes to oversee neighborhood redevelopment.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance for a contract with HDR Engineering, Inc. for engineering design and inspection services for floodwall pump stations #2 and #9. The total fee is an amount not to exceed $132,500. Currently the U.S. Corps of Engineers has been working on the preconstruction engineering and design services for the rehabilitation of Paducah’s floodwall pump stations. Due to the need to rehabilitate and reconstruction pump stations #2 and #9, HDR will finalize those project plans and assist the City with the bidding process. HDR also will provide construction administration and inspection services. Last week, the Board approved Memorandums of Understanding so that Paducah will receive credit from the Corps for the expenses incurred for the work related to those pump stations.
Last December, the Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance to provide funding in the amount of $126,086 for consulting services for the local E-911 center. That amount was half the fee. At this meeting, the Board approved an ordinance for the remaining half of the fee and authorized the contract with Virginia-based Federal Engineering, Inc. Federal will provide services including the planning, design, and implementation assistance for the replacement of the radio, telephony, and computer-aided dispatch system. The current equipment used at the 911 center has reached the end of its life and is in critical need of replacement.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved several ordinances for annual contracts for services between the City and the following agencies: