The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance to execute an Agreement for Technical Services with Strand Associates, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $790,000 for professional engineering, consulting, and related services for the development of a comprehensive storm water master plan (CSMP). Strand is partnering with the local firm, BFW Engineering & Testing, Inc. The CSMP will provide the City of Paducah the identification of ten priority flood areas, the analysis of flood mitigation alternatives, a prioritized ranking of projects along with a benefit cost analysis, and the development of a capital project program. The CSMP process has an anticipated completion date by the end of 2018. The previous storm water study was completed in 1989 and looked at only five flood-prone areas.
From May 20 until June 17, 2016, the City of Paducah solicited a request for qualifications from experienced consulting engineering firms for the development of a CSMP. Six firms submitted their qualifications. A selection committee comprised of City Engineer & Public Works Director Rick Murphy, Storm Water & Drainage Engineer Eric Hickman, Joint Sewer Agency Executive Director John Hodges, and Paducah Economic Development President/CEO Scott Darnell reviewed and scored each submission. Firms were given the opportunity to make a presentation to the selection committee with three firms making presentations on August 4. After the review and presentation process, the selection committee unanimously recommends Strand Associates, Inc. Strand has been in existence since 1946. It has 380 employees and 11 offices including two in Kentucky. Strand has extensive experience in community and storm water modelling and master planning.
Principal-In-Charge/Senior Planning Advisor John Lyons and Project Manager Michael Woolum with Strand Associates in addition to Assistant Project Manager Kenny McDaniel with BFW made a presentation about the project at the February 28 City Commission meeting. Woolum said that Strand is committed to determining meaningful improvements to the flooding problems that the Paducah community is facing. Over the past few months, Strand has been researching the Paducah area to understand the areas of existing flooding, rainfall data, existing storm water conveyance systems (both natural and manmade), and topography.
To create an effective CSMP, Strand will study several factors unique to the Paducah area including the characteristics of the local watersheds and the potential for future growth. Computer models will be calibrated based on actual events with a design around specific storms and rainfall rates. The CSMP will recommend the appropriate level of flood control and cost-effective solutions. Strand proposes to have public meetings throughout the process to provide citizen outreach and to manage the public’s expectations through education. Lyons said, “This project/program is not intended to eliminate flooding. This is about risk management.” Lyons said the project team will be working with the City and other partners to determine the appropriate level of service in managing the storm water. That will lead to the development of feasible, cost-effective solutions. Lyons added that you have to understand what you have today regarding existing storm water conveyance systems and then look at how to optimize their function.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance to amend Chapter 6, Alcoholic Beverages of the Paducah Code of Ordinances. The amendment would allow microbreweries with the appropriate licenses to sell malt beverages by the drink and package on Sundays from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.
Paducah Human Rights Commission Executive Director Bernice Belt updated the Paducah Board of Commissioners regarding training for the Human Rights Commissioners. Dr. Belt also updated the Commission on two upcoming events. The Evening of Discussion will be Thursday, March 23. This free community event will be from 6 until 8 p.m. at the Robert Cherry Civic Center. Doors open at 5:15 p.m. with refreshments catered by Artisan Kitchen, entertainment, door prizes, and a panel discussion entitled "Youth Lead-Removing Barriers for Success." The 20th Annual Fair Housing Luncheon will be Thursday, April 20 from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the atrium of City Hall. The doors open at 11:15 a.m. with a light buffet lunch. The program, which includes the Annual Fair Housing Award Presentation, will be from noon until 12:30 p.m.