Note: Commissioner Richard Abraham was unable to attend this meeting.
Principal-In-Charge/Senior Planning Advisor John Lyons and Project Manager Michael Woolum with Strand Associates provided an update on the work completed by Strand in partnership with the City of Paducah and BFW Engineering & Testing on the Comprehensive Storm Water Master Plan. The master plan development is on schedule. The agreement with Strand for this plan was adopted by the City Commission in March of this year. Woolum emphasized that developing a Comprehensive Storm Water Master Plan is challenging for Paducah due to several factors including several watersheds, the Ohio River and river flood influences, the floodwall and pump stations, flat topography in the City with steeper topography outside the City limits, and a complicated combined sewer system.
Over the past few months, Strand has been using a variety of data sources and information submitted by citizens electronically and from the two Public Meetings held in July and November to create an existing conditions baseline model of the Paducah area. Extensive public outreach was initiated in order to gather the vital data including the two public meetings, online survey and email access, news releases, social media posts, and 700 flyers.
The baseline model is a critical piece of this project since the model will be used to evaluate a range of flood mitigation alternatives and costs. The baseline model was calibrated using the flood information from the July 7, 2015 storm event to replicate how rainfall affects this area. Woolum says the 2015 storm was a 100-year storm event.
In reviewing the data, Strand has identified 23 problem areas in Paducah. Using the baseline model and a 10-year storm event, 75 structures would flood. For a 25-year flood event, 208 structures would experience flooding. For the July 7, 2015 event, 416 structures experienced flooding.
Woolum then pointed out specific information on some of the problem areas. One example is the three adjacent problem areas at 25th at Park Avenue, 23rd at Clay Street, and Harrison and Madison at 24th Street. For a 10-year storm event, a total of 37 structures would experience flooding. As a comparison during the 2015 event, 133 structures experienced flooding. Another example problem area is along Buckner Lane. For a 10-year storm event, a total of 6 structures would experience flooding. As a comparison during the 2015 event, 32 structures experienced flooding.
The next step in this phase of the Master Plan process involves reviewing the 23 problem areas and establishing ten priority areas for evaluation. The selection criteria to narrow the focus to ten priority areas will use information such as the number and concentration of structures flooded, property damage complaints, public safety concerns, flood frequency, problem area interdependency, and complexity. Strand will then evaluate flood mitigation control options and prepare preliminary cost estimates for the ten priority areas. This process also will lead to a discussion of the concept of “level of service.” Lyons explained that the level of service is determined by the type of storm or storm frequency around which we want to design flood controls. Since it is not an option financially for a city to be able to prevent all flooding during a major storm event such as what Paducah experienced in July 2015, the City must work with the community to determine the appropriate level of service.
The final discussion involved the second phase of the master planning process. The scope of services in the second phase will be presented as a contract with Strand at an upcoming Commission meeting. The second phase focuses on determining costs to implement a Storm Water Management Program including an operation and maintenance budget, a budget for capital improvement projects, staffing, and equipment needs. This also would include the development of a Storm Water Utility and the development of a funding mechanism using an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) which is based on the impervious area of parcels. If the second phase contract is approved, it would involve a public outreach program to gather input about a Storm Water Utility and educate the public on the structure of a funding mechanism.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners adopted a municipal order approving an Upper Story Residential Grant in the amount of $90,000 for the development of six residential units at 227 Broadway also called the American German National Bank building. The program allows property owners in a defined area of downtown to apply for financial assistance (a maximum of $15,000 per upper story residential unit) that can be used toward the construction costs of developing residential units. Urban Renewal & Community Development Agency reviewed Centurion Development’s application for the units at its November 27 meeting. Centurion owns the building at 227 Broadway and expects to invest nearly $800,000 in the building to include six upper story residential units on the upper three floors and a commercial unit on the main floor.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance to repeal and replace Chapter 58 in the Paducah Code of Ordinances which outlines the Paducah Human Rights Commission. Some of the new aspects of the ordinance include the additions of age and gender identity/sexual orientation to the list of unlawful discriminatory practices that are safeguarded in the ordinance. An additional change is the reduction in the size of the Board from nine to five members with no provision for an executive director.
The changes also describe how complaints are to be handled based on the type of complaint. Complaints made to the Paducah Human Rights Commission regarding race, color, religion, sex, age, familial status, handicap, or national origin would be filed with the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. Complaints associated with a grievance or unlawful practice relating to gender identity or sexual orientation will be filed with the Paducah Human Rights Commission with notification to the City Manager’s office. Since the State office does not handle complaints related to gender identity or sexual orientation, the Paducah Human Rights Commission would investigation those complaints with legal assistance as necessary. The Paducah Human Rights Commission was established in 1968 and maintains an office on the first floor of City Hall.
The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved a resolution requesting Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) to refinance a portion of the bonds issued to finance elements of the Baptist Health Paducah campus. KEDFA has the authority to authorize and issue revenue bonds to refinance an existing project upon request of the City as required by KRS 103.210(1).
The Parks & Recreation Department handed out the awards for the 2017 Christmas Parade held December 2 which had the theme Let it Glow, Let it Glow, Let it Glow. To view the Christmas Parade set to music (51 minutes in length), visit https://youtu.be/0HmsuwTrsc0. The parade award winners are as follows:
First Place – Paducah McCracken Composite Mountain Bike Team
Second Place – BFW/Marcum Engineering
Third Place – Goodwin Farms
Fourth Place – Cub Scout Pack #2018
Fifth Place – Dippin’ Dots Ice Cream
First Place – Blackburn Farms
Second Place – Paducah Jeep Owners Club
Third Place – Independence Bank
First Place - McNabb Elementary
Second Place –Paducah Middle School
Third Place –Murray State University –Paducah Campus KEA
First Place – Silver Lining Homeschool Colorguard
Second Place – Paducah Quickstep Cloggers
First Place – McCracken County High School
Second Place –Paducah Tilghman High School
First Place – Highland Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Second Place – Grace Episcopal Youth
Third Place –Milburn Chapel Cumberland Presbyterian Church