City Manager Jeff Pederson, with the assistance of Assistant to the City Manager Michelle Smolen, Public Information Officer Pam Spencer, City Engineer & Public Works Director Rick Murphy, and Assistant Public Works Director Chris Yarber, led the Paducah Board of Commissioners through a presentation and discussion regarding the implementation of curbside recycling in Paducah. This program is targeted to start in January 2018. Pederson said, “It’s accurate to say the interest in doing this is for environmental reasons. We are not under any State mandates, that I’m aware of, to do source reduction. We do not have a landfill that we are wanting to preserve space in. So we are doing it for reasons other than regulatory.”
Smolen said, “The City of Paducah is committed to providing a responsible and efficient curbside recycling program that enables our community to make a positive impact on the environment.” Smolen also said the keys to the program’s success will be public participation and the efficiencies gained in the Engineering-Public Works Department through changes in programs such as the brush collection program.
The presentation focused on several assumptions for program development. The program would be for residential service only, and subscription would be voluntary. It would require a fee in the range of $3 to $5 per month per subscriber. The fee is due to the need to purchase rollout containers for recycling and due to the fact that the disposal of recyclable materials is, at this time, $5.18 more per ton than the disposal of solid waste. Another program component is that the collection of recyclables would be curbside/roadside only with no collection in alleys. The City plans to use royal blue 96-gallon rollout containers. Collection also would be either twice per month or every other week per subscriber.
The development of this curbside recycling program relies, in part, on efficiencies found in the Solid Waste Division through a restructuring of the brush and yard waste collection program. The City is proposing a call-in request system with brush collection based upon a minimum volume of material to be collected. Also, residents will be required to manage their yard waste/grass clipping at the household level.
After the presentation, the Paducah Board of Commissioners approve a motion directing the City Manager to oversee the development of a curbside recycling program in Paducah based on the program assumptions as presented at this meeting.
Over the next few weeks, staff will be working on the operational plan and policy changes to implement curbside recycling and creating the public education campaign to inform the citizens of the recycling program and the changes to the brush and yard waste collection program. The program specifics will be presented at the October 10 City Commission meeting.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners allowed citizens to address the Board and provide their thoughts about the statue of Confederate General Lloyd Tilghman located at Lang Park (also known as Circle Park) in the Fountain Avenue Neighborhood. Mayor Brandi Harless opened the public comment period by thanking the crowd for their willingness to have these difficult conversations with respect and dignity. Over the course of more than an hour, six people provided their passionate thoughts about the statue itself, Confederate monuments in general, history, and racism. Afterward, each Commissioner had an opportunity to voice their thoughts about this conversation underway in Paducah and how Paducah can set an example. Commissioner Richard Abraham said, “I have never lived in city as loving and caring as Paducah.” Commissioner Sarah Holland said, “The most important thing to me is to have a conversation as a community and to not treat each other as the enemy.” Mayor Harless wrapped up the discussion by thanking everyone. “We have an opportunity to do it different in Paducah and look each other in the eye.” Mayor Harless asked everyone to think about the following question as it relates to current issues such as poverty and job opportunities: How can I understand what racism in 2017 looks like?
Click https://youtu.be/Xo0v7MClrcU to view the entire Commission meeting. (The discussion begins at 58 minutes into the meeting).
The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance setting the real estate and personal property taxes for fiscal year 2018. 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 24.6 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 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 79.7 cents per $100 of assessed value. The City collects the school tax, but passes the funds along to the district.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance for amendments to the City’s alcohol and beverage ordinance contained in Chapter 6 of the City’s Code of Ordinances. One noteworthy amendment regards the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sunday. The amendment would permit the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sundays for all license types during the same hours such sales are permitted any other day of the week. Currently, Sunday sales are permitted between 1 and 10 p.m. and are limited to certain license holders. Many of the other amendments are necessary to comply with the passage of House Bills 100, 183, and 319 during the 2017 Kentucky legislative session.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance for Change Order No. 1 between the City of Paducah and Youngblood Excavating & Contracting, LLC for the Noble Park Lake Bank Stabilization Project Phase II. This project uses sheet piling to create a retaining wall that will stabilize the erosion of the bank at Noble Park Lake. The change order increases the contract amount by $20,500 bringing the total contract amount to $263,480. The reasons for the change order include the need to remove a tree which interfered with construction, the removal of organic materials from the lake, and the construction of a new pedestrian bridge. The change order also extends the contract deadline to September 30.
Over the past few months, Youngblood has been installing approximately 650 linear feet of steel sheet piling and concrete cap along the south and west bank of the Noble Park Lake to match the first phase of the project. Additionally, while the water was lowered, the steel sheet piling surfaces from both phases were sandblasted and painted with a black vinyl finish to protect and add life expectancy. Phase I of the project occurred in 2014 with the installation of 665 linear feet metal sheet piling to stabilize the southeastern side of Noble Park Lake.