Note: Due to the COVID-19 situation and the need to maintain social distancing, all members of the Paducah Board of Commissioners participated by video and/or audio conferencing.
Presentation of BUILD Grant Excursion Boat Landing Concept Drawings
City Engineer Rick Murphy presented to the Paducah Board of Commissioners concept drawings for the riverboat boat landing facility that would be funded by the BUILD grant. Last November, the City received news that we would be receiving $10.4 million in Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) funds. The City’s approved application includes building a riverboat excursion pier and plaza. The concept drawings presented at the meeting show the riverboat landing facility parallel to the riverfront. This fixed construction facility would provide a safer and easier docking area as we continue to grow our tourism economy as a destination. Murphy also showed artistic concepts for the two concrete foundations located along the riverfront. Those structures are remnants of a conveyor system to offload materials from barges. To view BUILD grant information including the concept drawings, visit http://paducahky.gov/build-grant-2019.
Greater Paducah Economic Development (GPED) Update
Greater Paducah Economic Development’s President/CEO Bruce Wilcox updated the Paducah Board of Commissioners on GPED’s activities since mid-June. Wilcox outlined several of GPED’s accomplishments including the negotiations for the sale of the Genova building, the installation of new signage at Industrial Park West, the brokerage and option agreements for several properties at the Triple Rail site, discussions with the Riverport regarding container-on-barge initiatives, the launch of a new website, and work with local partners including the Industrial Development Authority and Sprocket. Wilcox says GPED is working with 20 projects in various stages of development.
Employee Benefit Plans Briefing
Benefits Advisor DJ Story with Peel & Holland provided an overview of the City of Paducah’s 2021 health insurance plan through Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield as the City’s third-party administrator. Those who participate in the City’s health plan will have no change to their health insurance premiums as compared to this current year. The City has maintained the same health insurance premium rates for nine consecutive years which is quite unusual and an indication of the good management of the health plan and the City’s dedication to employee wellness. The City of Paducah has a self-insured health insurance plan which means the premiums paid into the plan by the employees are used to pay the claims. Story commended the City for focusing on health and wellness and being able to keep the rates flat. Story said, “What the City has been able to do is remarkable. It shows a financial focus on wellness.”
Actions taken by the Paducah Board of Commissioners regarding health insurance are as follows:
- Municipal order approved for the 2021 health insurance and dental premiums which are the same rates as for the current calendar year. The vision premiums are increasing by 7 percent for 2021.
- Municipal order approved for a one-year Strategic Health Risk Advisor and Strategic Benefit Placement Services Contract with Peel & Holland for the administration of the City’s health insurance. The contract amount is for $78,900 with an additional fee of $200 per hour subject to a minimum retainer of $5000 for services requested by the City or the City’s legal counsel for issues that arise in connection to employee bargaining, legal matters, disputes, etc. The City has used Peel & Holland’s services since 1999.
- Municipal order approved authorizing an agreement between the City of Paducah and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield to provide administrative services for 2021 related to the City’s health insurance plan and to provide stop loss insurance which is used when a plan participant’s claims exceed a set value or when the City’s total claims exceed a set maximum. The insurance protects the City from catastrophic health insurance claims. The maximum city liability per person will be set at $175,000 with Anthem assuming liability for individual claims higher than $175,000. Anthem also will step in when the City’s total health claims reach a little more than $2.43 million.
- Municipal order approved setting the policy for the funds provided by the City to eligible employees for 2021 in the health and wellness plans (also called spending credits).
- Municipal order approved to change the group life insurance policy to Mutual of Omaha effective January 1, 2021.
- Municipal orders approved for the Position & Pay Schedule and Pay Grade Schedule which incorporate changes based on the results of the classification and compensation study performed by CBIZ Benefits and Insurance Services. The City set aside funding in the current budget to implement the study’s recommended adjustments.
- Municipal orders approved for annual contracts for services between the City and the following agencies:
- Paxton Park Golf Course – The City will provide $75,000.
- Paducah Transit Authority – The City will provide $215,000 for public transportation services.
- Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Performing Arts Center - The City will provide $54,000 to support various arts education programming.
- Municipal order approved to accept the CARES Act funding for COVID-19 relief in the amount of $1,786,875 through the Department of Local Government. The funding will be used to reimburse public safety employee salaries. The money will be directed back to the General Fund. There is no local match required.
- Municipal orders approved for the following grants:
- Application for a CDBG Coronavirus Recovery Kentucky Grant requesting up to $200,000 on behalf of Four Rivers Behavioral Health for the CenterPoint Recovery Center. These funds would reimburse the Center for COVID-19 related expenses. No local match is required.
- Application for a First Responders Grant through the Marathon Petroleum Foundation. The grant request, which does not require a local match, is for $4800 which if awarded would be used to purchase four Ice Commander Suits for water rescues for the Paducah Fire Department.
- Application for a Kentucky League of Cities Insurance Services Liability Grant in the amount of $3000 which if awarded would help fund the cost of the ADA accessible ramps and sidewalks installed recently at the Noble Park Tennis Courts. This grant requires an equal match by the City.
- Municipal order approved for the 911 Communications Services Agreement between the Paducah Police Department’s 911 Communications Services Division and the Melber New Hope Fire District. The agreement is for four years with the Fire District paying a call rate fee for dispatching services provided by the City’s 911 division.
- Ordinance approved authorizing the City to collect taxes for the Paducah Independent School District. The Paducah School District set its property tax levee at the same rate as Fiscal Year 2020 at 86.4 cents per $100 of assessed value.
- Ordinance introduced (vote October 27) for the renewal of the lease agreement with Forest Hills Village, Inc. The current lease expires December 31. This renewal lease is for a 10-year term.