City Commission Meeting Highlights, September 27, 2016

Note:  Commissioner Carol Gault was unable to attend this meeting.

Amendment to Chapter 14 of the Paducah Code of Ordinances Regarding the Muzzling of Dogs

With a 3-1 vote, the Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance amending Chapter 14, Section 32 of the Paducah Code of Ordinances to remove the line requiring dogs to be muzzled when in attendance at special community events.  Commissioner Richard Abraham voted against removing the muzzle requirement.  He would like dogs not to be allowed at City permitted events.  He mentioned seeing dogs at last week’s Barbecue on the River festival that were stressed due to the crowds and the hot pavement.  Mayor Gayle Kaler says she would like to further research how to address animals at special events.  When the ordinance was introduced last week, topics of discussion included the difficulty in uniform enforcement of the muzzle requirement and the need for pet owners to be aware of how bringing their pet (dogs, cats, snakes, rabbits, etc.) to a special event may be quite stressful to the animal and the public.  Even though the muzzle requirement is no longer valid, dogs that attend special community events are required to be licensed by either McCracken County Animal Control or by another state or county and restrained by a leash or lead that is no longer than three feet.

Property Tax Levy Public Hearing and Ordinance Introduction (vote October 4)

The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance setting the real estate and personal property taxes for fiscal year 2017.  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 remain at 25.5 cents per $100 assessed value.  The City’s Compensating Rate, the rate that would keep the revenue at the same amount as this fiscal year, is 25.4 cents per $100 assessed value.  Kentucky Revised (KRS) Statutes permits a city to adjust the rate upward by not more than 4 percent of the compensating rate.  With the proposed 25.5 cents, the City would be taking an amount less than the 4 percent allowed by KRS.  The proposed rate of 25.5 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 79.9 cents per $100 of assessed value.  The City collects the school tax, but passes the funds along to the district.

Quick Highlights

  • Ordinance approved accepting the Assistance to Firefighter Grant through the Department of Homeland Security in the amount of $87,455.  The local match if $8,745.  The funds would 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.  The Fire Ground Survival program trains firefighters to perform potentially life-saving actions if they become lost, disoriented, injured, low on air, or trapped.
  • Ordinance approved for the purchase of one front loading refuse truck in the amount of $233,119 from McBride Mack, Inc.  Two bids were received for this purchase.
  • Ordinance approved authorizing a contract in the amount of $74,787 with M.P. Lawson Construction, LLC for the complete renovation of the restroom facilities and plumbing at Fire Station #2 located at 2802 Wayne Sullivan Drive.  Two bids were received for this project.
  • Ordinance introduced (vote Oct. 4) to accept the Arts Engagement in American Communities grant through the National Endowment for the Arts in the amount of $10,000.  The grant requires a $10,000 match from the City.  The funds will be used for the installation of a wayfinding system of signs at key locations in downtown and the Lower Town Arts District.
  • Ordinance introduced (vote Oct. 4) to establish a property tax assessment and reassessment moratorium for the W.B. Sanders Apartments and the Jackson House.  The owner of the properties is contemplating major improvements to both buildings.  The moratorium defers the value of improvements from the taxable assessment of the property for five years.
  • Ordinance introduced (vote Oct. 4) to purchase a new telescoping aerial truck for the Engineering-Public Works Maintenance Division using the State contract vendor, Altec, in the amount of $106,590.
  • Ordinance introduced (vote Oct. 4) to quitclaim to the two adjacent property owners two 20-foot wide strips of property near John Puryear Drive adjacent to the floodwall.  The strips of property are not required for floodwall purposes.
  • Lower Town resident Patience Renzulli and other concerned residents addressed the Board regarding the deteriorating condition of the home at 304 North 6th Street.  Renzulli pointed out the history of the pre-Civil War home including that it was the location for the funeral visitation for Vice President Alben Barkley.