Note: Commissioner Carol Gault was unable to attend this meeting. Our thoughts and prayers are with Commissioner Gault following the passing of her husband, Spivey Gault.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance to approve a contract with Wilkins Construction Company for the construction of Phase I of the Health Park located at 421 North 13th Street. Three bids were received for the project with Wilkins providing the lowest, responsive bid of $619,169.36. This phase of the project includes safety surfacing for the Paducah Rotary Playground which was constructed by Rotary members and volunteers this past summer. In addition to the grading, drainage, irrigation of the great lawn in the center of the park, this phase also includes the 1/3 mile walking trail, lighting, an expansion of the Community Garden, and a fitness area. Once Wilkins receives the notice to proceed, this is a 180 consecutive calendar-day project.
The Health Park is city-owned property bordered by Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, 13th Street, Madison Street, and 14th Street. It’s currently an open lot with the Community Garden and the Paducah Rotary Playground. Future elements for the park include restrooms, a spray pad, and an outdoor performance area. For this park, the City of Paducah has partnered with United Way, Lourdes Hospital, Baptist Health, Paducah Rotary Club, Purchase District Health Department, Purchase Area Connections for Health, and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. The City has received grants and donations totaling more than $668,000 for this project.
The Kentucky League of Cities (KLC) honored the City of Paducah with an Enterprise Cities award for the Fountain Avenue Neighborhood Revitalization project. Sadieville, Kentucky Mayor-KLC President Claude Christensen presented the award along with KLC Community Development Manager Tad Long. The Enterprise Cities Award recognizes city projects or programs making a true impact on their communities. Christensen says he plans to learn from the Fountain Avenue program and use it in his own city, Sadieville. “We appreciate the example Paducah sets for other cities.” Mayor Gayle Kaler recognized the partners in making the neighborhood revitalization program a success including the Urban Renewal & Community Development Agency, Midtown Alliance of Neighbors, City staff, the neighborhood churches, and the residents. The award program sponsor, Collins & Company, Inc., will provide $1,000 for each winning program to help continue its success. Since the revitalization project began in 2007, 36 new homes have been constructed in the neighborhood. So far, 84 existing homes have seen rehabilitation investments of more than $10,000 with 47 of those homes having investments of more than $50,000. There has been more than $13 million in public and private reinvestment in the neighborhood. Fountain Avenue, Park Avenue, North 13th Street, and the alley between Monroe and Jefferson comprise the boundaries of the neighborhood. KLC has prepared an eight-minute video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_pF1CLufqM) honoring all the 2016 award winners.
Mayor Gayle Kaler presented a Certificate of Recognition to Alvern Olaleye-Black for becoming the first City of Paducah Section 8 assisted homeowner. She recently completed her mortgage agreement. In 2010, Olaleye-Black entered into a Section 8 assisted mortgage on a Habitat for Humanity home located on North 12th Street. After receiving down-payment funds and some funds from an anonymous donor, Habitat has finalized the mortgage completion a couple years earlier than the scheduled mortgage pay-off. Brenda Langlois and Bobby Koelhler with Habitat for Humanity also attended the meeting to show their appreciation of Olaleye-Black’s dedication and success. Olaleye-Black says, “I stand here today as a proud homeowner. I am so grateful for this experience. I’m living proof that Section 8 works.”
The City of Paducah Section 8 Housing program established the mortgage assistance program in 2005 by designating up to 50 housing choice vouchers to be utilized for mortgage assistance. Paducah’s Section 8 Housing Program was one of the first agencies in Kentucky to utilize the homeownership program in coordination with Habitat back in 2005. Currently, Section 8 has 18 additional families receiving homeownership assistance in Paducah and McCracken County. Section 8 Housing Administrator Danny Fugate says, “We have 18 families who are working to purchase home in our district.”
Pictured from right to left: Bobby Koehler, Mayor Gayle Kaler, Alvern Olaleye-Black, Brenda Langlois, and Danny Fugate
Cindy Byrd and Cheryl Bendick of the Daughters of the American Revolution announced the winners of the DAR’s Veterans Day Essay/Picture Contest. Below are the first place winners from each of the grade categories. The first place winners were asked to show their poster or read their essay.
K-2 Caroline Crouse 2nd Grade Concord Elementary
Grade 3-5 Jared Powers 4th Grade Concord Elementary
Grade 6-8 Paige Kight 7th Grade Paducah Middle School
Grade 9-12 Cole Wyatt 10th Grade Marshall County High School
Vietnam Veteran Bill Fletcher with the Veterans Day Parade Committee announced the names of the 2016 Distinguished Veteran, Charles G. Puckett, and the 2016 Patriot Award winner, Gayron A. Ferguson, Jr.
All of the events below to honor veterans will be held on Veterans Day, Friday, November 11.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance for a contract with HDR Engineering, Inc. for engineering design services for the extension of the Greenway Trail. This project (called Phase IV) will extend the trail from its current terminus at Campbell Street near the Schroeder Expo Center through the Riverfront Redevelopment Project to Madison Street. The project involves adding nearly 3000 feet of pathways and trail in addition to lighting, benches, and trash receptacles. After the design and construction procurement process, the City expects construction to begin in the spring of 2018. The $53,700 contract with HDR Engineering involves engineering design services and assistance through the construction bidding process. The City also has the option to use HDR for construction administration and inspection in an amount not to exceed $32,000. The City has received a Transportation Enhancement (TE) grant in the amount of $520,000 for this project. Currently, the City has approximately 4.5 miles of Greenway Trail that stretch from County Park Road to Campbell Road.
Looking ahead to the future, after the Phase IV Greenway Trail project is completed, Phase V will take the trail from Monroe to Jefferson Streets along the riverfront. This project will greatly improve the existing Schultz Park. Additional features of the Phase V project include additional parking, erosion control, piping, lighting, and earthwork. The grant agreement for that phase will be signed after the completion of Phase IV.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved a municipal order for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City of Paducah and the Kentucky Oaks Mall Company regarding the former Service Merchandise building located at 3410 James Sanders Boulevard. The Mall Company is working to purchase the building from its current owner by the end of the year. The MOU outlines a timeline for work and decisions to be made on the building. Within six months of closing on the building, Mall Company will complete some exterior work on the property. Within three years of closing on the building, Mall Company shall proceed with either razing the building, renovating the existing structure, or partially razing the structure to create a structural shell. City Manager Jeff Pederson emphasized that this agreement does NOT involve financial incentives. Pederson says, “This is an indication of the City’s willingness to be business-friendly and work with property owners to facilitate a transition.”