City Commission Meeting Highlights, March 14, 2017

Development of the City of Paducah Comprehensive Storm Water Master Plan (CSMP)

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.


Amend Ordinance to Allow Microbreweries to Sell on Sundays (vote March 21)

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’s Upcoming Events

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.


Quick Highlights

  • Police Chief Brandon Barnhill introduced to the Commission the Department’s two newest officers:  Adam Winebarger and Mitchell Townsend.  They were sworn in on March 2 at the Police Department.
  • Boards and Commissions:
    • Kerri Bonner appointed to the Urban Renewal & Community Development Agency.
    • Jimmy Rex Smith and Howard Finley reappointed to the Brooks Stadium Commission.
  • Municipal order approved accepting the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security grant in the amount of $59,402.  The funds will be used to purchase 65 tasers and cartridges to replace existing equipment no longer supported by the manufacturer.  No city match is required for this grant award.  However, the City is responsible for the cost that exceeds the grant award which is nearly $9000.
  • Municipal order approved to close a portion of undeveloped right-of-way on High Street between Alameda Drive and Sherwood Road.  This road closure was requested by the adjacent property owners.
  • Last September the Paducah Fire Department received an Assistance to Firefighter Grant through the Department of Homeland Security in the amount of $87,455.   The funds are to be used for Paducah to be a host site for the Fire Ground Survival training program including the purchase of training materials and equipment.  This is a train-the-trainer program.  At this meeting, the Board approved a municipal order authorizing a $77,000 contract with IAFF to conduct the train-the-trainer course.  The Fire Ground Survival program trains firefighters to perform potentially life-saving actions if they become lost, disoriented, injured, low on air, or trapped. 
  • City Manager Jeff Pederson says a pre-budget workshop will be held within the next few weeks to review the General Fund revenue projections for fiscal year 2018, the investment fund projections, and the ranking using criteria for the capital improvement projects.  Pederson also says work is underway to develop a Phase I City Hall project which would address the roof and overhang deficiencies in addition to seismic improvements and the upgrade of mechanical systems.  This project could be in excess of $4 million.
  • Pederson says the Traffic Commission met recently to discuss on-street parking on the south side of Broadway near the intersection with Lone Oak Road.  With so much new business activity in that area, many people are parking on the street.  However, the vehicles are parking very close to the driveway entrances to businesses creating safety concerns due to limited sight lines.  The City is looking at limiting the parking adjacent to the driveway entrances to increase the safety and visibility for vehicles entering and exiting parking lots.  Yellow curbs would reflect no parking areas.
  • McCracken County Public Library Director Susan Baier says April 1 through April 15 will be an amnesty period so that people can return late books, DVDs, etc. and have their fines waived.