Note: Commissioner Allan Rhodes was unable to attend the meeting.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance setting the real estate and personal property taxes for fiscal year 2019. A property tax levy public hearing was held at the beginning of the Commission meeting. The City’s real estate tax levy is proposed to be set at 26.1 cents per $100 assessed value, a 2.3 percent change as compared to the fiscal year 2018 rate of 25.5 cents. The City’s Compensating Rate, the rate that would keep the revenue at the same amount as this fiscal year, is 25.1 cents per $100 assessed value. Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) permits a city to adjust the rate upward by not more than 4 percent of the compensating rate. With the proposed 26.1 cents, the City would be taking the 4 percent allowed by KRS.
The proposed rate of 26.1 cents is much less than what the rate was more than twenty years ago in fiscal year 1995. At that time the real estate rate was 43.8 cents per $100 assessed value. The revenue generated by the property tax is the City’s second highest revenue source behind the payroll tax.
Recently, the Paducah Independent School District voted to set its tax rate at 84 cents per $100 of assessed value which is up from last year’s 79.7 cents. The City collects the school tax but passes the funds along to the district.
Greg Carlton and DJ Story with Peel & Holland along with Human Resources Director Martin Russell provided an overview of the City of Paducah’s 2019 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 since 2013 which is quite unusual and an indication of the good management of the health plan and the City’s dedication to employee wellness. The dental rates will increase 3 percent with a 3.5 percent increase to the vision plan. 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.
Tom Knight, chess coach at Paducah Tilghman High School, and Owen Cody, a 7th grader at Lone Oak Middle School, made a presentation about the growing popularity of chess clubs across the region and the benefits of playing chess. Cody says that chess is a sport that lasts a lifetime with a variety of benefits including that it builds confidence, tests memory, and teaches one how to keep calm under pressure. Knight and Cody also asked the City to look into providing free-standing concrete chess tables at some of Paducah’s parks. Ideas were discussed including the tables and/or benches being an Eagle Scout project and/or a public-private partnership with some private fundraising.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved a Municipal Order to apply for the National Park Service African-American Civil Rights Grant on behalf of the Hotel Metropolitan. The grant request is for $50,000 which if awarded would be used to prepare an amendment to the Hotel Metropolitan’s current National Register of Historic Places designation to expand its period of significance. There is no local match requirement. With an expanded period of significance, the Hotel Metropolitan could increase its future chances of receiving grant funding. Planning Director Tammara Tracy says, “This is the first in our hopes of securing grants for this incredible community gem.”
Municipal Orders approved authorizing and declaring the sale of the following city-owned surplus properties:
222 Ashbrook Avenue–James and Sandra Faulkner submitted a $2500 bid for the property with plans to renovate the home.
1131 Flournoy Street – Cameron Brewer submitted a $450 bid for this vacant lot which is adjacent to his property.
Municipal Order approved accepting the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Kentucky Office of Highway Safety grant award in the amount of $25,050. The funds will be used by the Paducah Police Department to reimburse the department for traffic enforcement activities.
Ordinance introduced (vote October 9) for the partial street closure of DAV Drive also known as Green Street. The adjacent property owner Mid-South Energy Properties, LLC requested the closure which received a positive recommendation from the Paducah Planning Commission.