City Commission Meeting Highlights, February 19, 2013

Note:  Commissioner Richard Abraham was unable to attend this meeting.


Selection of U.S. Highway 45 Crossing Design for Greenway Trail Extension

City Engineer-Public Works Director Rick Murphy provided a presentation regarding the options for the greenway trail to cross U.S. Highway 45 to link the City’s existing trail segments.  Currently the City has a 1.75 mile trail that links Noble Park to Stuart Nelson Park and terminates at County Park Road.  Another 1.67 mile section, which is in its final stages of completion, runs from the Expo Center to behind the Smoke Shop on North 8th Street.  To link those two sections, a new stretch of trail would be constructed along the floodwall levee from Noble Park to U.S. 45.  A pedestrian underpass has been designed under the highway to allow for a safe crossing for walkers, joggers, and bikers.  The underpass would include lighting.  However, the proposed 52-foot long underpass would cost an estimated $436,000.  Looking at other options, Murphy estimates a pedestrian overpass, a bridge, would cost approximately $700,000 due to the height and size of the structure.  Another option would be to cross U.S. 45 at grade.  However, Murphy explained that an at-grade crossing would cost an estimated $239,000 since the geometry of U.S. 45 would need to be reconfigured to reduce the cross slope (the banking) of the road.  Currently the road has a slope of 10%, but to be accessible the slope would need to be reduced to 5%.  Due to the limited site distances on the road, a pedestrian traffic signal would need to be installed.  However, Murphy has had responses from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet that a signal would not be permitted on U.S. 45.  The Commission made a motion to authorize Murphy to proceed with the project with the pedestrian underpass design.  Commissioner Allan Rhodes voted against the underpass design saying that he would like to have a less expensive option. 

Funding:  The estimated total cost of this phase of the greenway trail which would run from Noble Park at the skatepark to U.S. 45 is estimated to be $1.15 million which includes design, property acquisition, and construction.  After the project receives State approval, the City hopes the cost will be less once bids are received for the project.  The City has available funds totaling $947,000 which include a $500,000 Transportation Enhancement grant, $100,000 in funds from an endowment, $147,000 in remaining funds from previous trail projects, and $200,000 in funds from a bond. 


Agreement with the USACE for the Design of the Floodwall Project (vote Feb. 26)

The Mayor and Commissioners introduced an ordinance for a design agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for projects to rehabilitate the floodwall.  In a 2010 feasibility report, USACE outlined rehabilitation projects to improve the reliability and restore the system performance of the City’s floodwall.  The projects include items such as a new pump station.  In 2012, the USACE Chief’s report recommended to the U.S. Congress the implementation of the projects outlined in the feasibility report.  At this time, the USACE is prepared to move forward with the design of those projects.  The design is expected to cost $600,000 with the City obligated to pay $150,000.  A portion of the City’s share can be credited by in-kind services.  City Engineer-Public Works Director Rick Murphy says, “This agreement will start the design of the pump station which is our primary area of concern.”   Rehabilitating the floodwall is a $20 million endeavor which will involve several phases of projects.  The 12.2-mile long floodwall was constructed between 1939 and 1949.  For more information about the floodwall including a slide presentation from USACE regarding the upgrades, visit Floodwall.


Amendment of PRA Ordinance to Increase Advisory Board Membership (vote Feb. 26)

The Mayor and Commissioners introduced an ordinance to amend the Paducah Renaissance Alliance (PRA) ordinance to increase the number of members on the advisory board from nine to 15.  At the February 5 Commission meeting,  PRA Executive Director Lisa Thompson and Chairperson Darlene Mazzone explained that main street programs rely on a strong volunteer base to form the board and to form the committees for the four-point main street approach in addition to the many one-time volunteers for special events.  Paducah’s Renaissance District is composed of 70 blocks.


Paducah Ambassadors’ 25th Anniversary

Mayor Gayle Kaler presented a joint proclamation signed by the Mayor and Judge-Executive Van Newberry to the Paducah Ambassadors in honor of the volunteer group’s 25th anniversary.  Mayor Kaler says, “They really make people who visit Paducah feel extra special.”  The hospitality organization, commonly known as “The Red Coats” was organized by former Mayor Gerry Montgomery and had the first training session on February 20, 1988.  The proclamation names February 20, 2013 as Paducah Ambassadors’ Day.  The purpose of this group of trained volunteers is to assist City/County government and local organizations by welcoming and informing visitors about the area’s events and history.  The Paducah Ambassadors have represented Paducah and McCracken County at official events, celebrations, conventions, festivals, and ground breakings.  Also, the men and women have provided city and floodwall tours, greeted passengers at the Port of Paducah, assisted with the Salvation Army bell ringing campaigns, and collected donations at the annual Christmas in the Park.  The Paducah Ambassadors are known by visitors internationally for hospitality during the annual American Quilter’s Society Quilt Show. 


Quick Highlights:

  • Mayor Gayle Kaler recognized the Paducah Tilghman High School Speech and Forensic Team for becoming regional champions.

  • Ordinance approved declaring the Paducah Water property located at the intersection of Broyles Avenue and A.T. Massa Drive as surplus and transfer the property to the Hendron Fire Department.  Paducah Water gained the property when it entered into an agreement last year with the Hendron Water District for the ownership, management, and operation of the district’s water distribution system.

  • Ordinance approved for a contract with Brehm Striping Company, Inc. for the installation of required pavement marking on various City streets for the remainder of this calendar year and for 2014. 

  • City Manager Jeff Pederson noted that the pre-notification postcards will be going out to the 1200 randomly selected households for the citizen survey.  He encouraged those who receive the survey to complete it.