Mayor Brandi Harless held a moment of silence at the beginning of the meeting in recognition of the Marshall County High School tragedy. Two students died and 19 other people were injured in a shooting this morning at the high school. A 15-year-old student is in custody. Mayor Harless voiced her support of the families going through this extremely difficult time. Mayor Harless said, “This is our region, and they (Marshall County families) are a big part of our community as well.”
Paducah Police Chief Brandon Barnhill said several Paducah officers responded to Marshall County High School this morning to assist. Furthermore, he sent officers to Lourdes Hospital to assist with security since five of the students were taken there. Chief Barnhill said that Paducah Police officers also stayed with each Paducah school during the day to provide information and serve as a visible deterrence until the specifics of the Marshall County situation were determined.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance to approve a contract with Strategic Government Resources (SGR) in an amount not to exceed $28,000 for the recruitment of the next city manager. SGR is one of the three executive search firms that made presentations to the Board at their January 9 meeting. The recruitment process typically lasts approximately 12 weeks. Founded in 1999, SGR is based in Keller, Texas.
The Board also introduced an ordinance to amend the Fiscal Year 2018 budget to transfer $28,000 from the General Fund fund reserves to the Human Resources Contract Services fund.
At its January 9 meeting, the Board approved appointing Parks & Recreation Director Mark Thompson as interim city manager effective Saturday, January 13. City Manager Jeff Pederson declined the offer by the Board to extend his employment agreement until May 15. His final day with the City was January 12.
Finance Director Jonathan Perkins and David Hampton of Kemper CPA Group, LLP provided an overview of the City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) which includes the City audit. The audit is required by State law; however, the CAFR is a voluntary document that the City prepares to provide additional information and transparency to the public. The report is for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2017. The audit found that Paducah is compliant in its financial reporting with no instances of noncompliance or other matters that are required to be reported under Government Auditing Standards. Paducah is one of the few cities in Kentucky that prepares a CAFR. For 26 consecutive years, Paducah has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). The entire CAFR report and previous audits dating back to 2001 can be found on the City’s website, www.paducahky.gov.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance accepting the modified base bid from A&K Construction in the amount of $4,293,781 for the City Hall Phase I Renovation Project. The bids were opened November 30 for the project with three contractors submitting bids. A&K submitted a bid of $4,087,400. Due to the proposed window manufacturer listed in A&K’s bid not being able to meet the Kentucky Heritage Council’s requirements since City Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, A&K had to modify its bid as allowed in the bid specifications to switch to a window manufacturer approved by the Heritage Council. The City will continue to work with the Heritage Council to determine if A&K’s original window manufacturer can be used which would decrease the bid back to the original amount. Even with this increase in the base bid from $4,087,400 to $4,293,781, A&K remains the lowest evaluated bidder. The City Hall Phase I Renovation Project includes concrete repairs and replacement, steel beam stabilization of roof cantilevers, roofing membrane and skylight replacement, exterior window and door replacement, and the replacement of HVAC source equipment.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance for a $45,900 contract with Bacon, Farmer, Workman Engineering & Testing, Inc. for engineering and design services related to Phase V of the Greenway Trail. Phase V would provide a facelift for Schultz Park and extend the trail from the Farmer’s Market area to Jefferson Street. This phase also includes landscaping and seating. The City of Paducah has $403,156 in grant funding for the Greenway Trail Phase V project.
Barkley Regional Airport Manager Richard Roof provided the Paducah Board of Commissioners an annual update of airport activities and a copy of the airport audit. Roof said many projects are underway or in the planning stages including an update of the Airport Master Plan, the replacement of various signage, and the repaving of approximately half of the taxiways. Roof said in 2017, 41,700 passengers used Barkley Regional Airport with 10 percent of those passengers having international tickets. The new two-year contract with SkyWest, which provides service to Chicago, begins February 1.