City Commission Meeting Highlights - June 13, 2023

Date of Release: 
June 13, 2023

Mayor’s Remarks

  • Mayor George Bray attended a meeting earlier this week with City Manager Daron Jordan and Parks & Recreation Director Amie Clark to discuss the development of a parks advisory board. This would be a board of citizens who would gather and provide feedback and recommendations from the community regarding Paducah’s parks and programming.

  • Mayor Bray said that the engineering and design team has reached the 60 percent design completion threshold on the riverfront project that uses the more than $10 million BUILD grant. The target is to place the project out to bid this fall and start construction by April 1, 2024. 


Adoption of Fiscal Year 2024 Budget

The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Ordinance which will be effective July 1. At the May 23 meeting, City Manager Daron Jordan said this budget is fiscally conservative since inflationary pressures have created an uncertain fiscal landscape. However, the budget addresses and funds the Commission’s priorities determined in March.

The FY2024 budget is roughly $99.2 million dollars when all funding accounts and transfers are considered. Of that amount, the City’s main operating fund, the General Fund, is $46.1 million, and the Investment Fund is $6.2 million.

Mayor Bray emphasized the following budget highlights:

  • Includes more than $1 million for economic development with funds for several agencies including GPED, IDA, Barkley Regional Airport, Sprocket, and various business recruitment efforts;
  • Includes funding as Paducah invests in the Southside and in Paxton Park Golf Course;
  • Includes funding for the demolition of blighted and/or abandoned property; and
  • Includes a 30% funding increase as compared to the current fiscal year in street rehabilitation funds.

Additional budget highlights are as follows:

  • Includes all annual debt service payment obligations;
  • Includes 6% wage adjustments as contractually obligated for IAFF, FOP, and AFSCME; and 6% for non-represented full-time employees;
  • Allows for the minimum 10% reserve requirement in the General, Investment, and Solid Waste funds;
  • Uses $2.1 million in reserves from the General Fund to balance the budget; however, with fiscally conservative budgeting, the hope is that these funds will not be needed;
  • Requires approximately $1.1 million from General Fund to fund the revenue shortfall in 911 operations;
  • Includes State mandated pension contributions;
  • Includes appropriations for numerous outside agencies including $173,000 through the Grant-in-Aid program, funds for the Hotel Metropolitan’s roof, and upgrades to Paxton Park Golf Course; and
  • Includes funding to create a Greenway Trail/Bike Path Master Plan.

FY2024 will be an exciting time for Paducah with several projects underway including the Outdoor Sports Complex, the Cherry Civic Center Renovation Project, City Block Project, Riverfront Redevelopment through the BUILD Grant, addition of pickleball courts to Noble Park, and the completion of the floodwall rehabilitation project.


Southside Neighborhoods Initiative – Housing and Economic Programs

The Board introduced an ordinance to create new sections of Paducah Code of Ordinances Chapter 34 for Southside incentives. The incentives include Business Improvement Grants for beautification and roof stabilization, Home Repair Microgrants, and Home Rehabilitation and New Construction Grants. Once the ordinance is approved, the Planning Department will prepare application materials for the community. Planning Director Nic Hutchison said the Southside Steering Committee will be assisting in distributing the information. 


Oak Grove Cemetery Updates

The Board approved a municipal order updating the fees for city-owned Oak Grove Cemetery and the Mausoleum and introduced an ordinance to replace Chapter 26 of the Paducah Code of Ordinances regarding cemeteries. At the previous meeting, Parks and Recreation Director Amie Clark presented an overview of the changes. Several of the code updates are necessary to reflect current operations while other changes are to match State statues. From the public’s perspective, the main changes to the Code are as follows:

  • With the exception of service animals, dogs, cats, and other animals are not permitted on cemetery grounds unless confined to a vehicle.
  • Benches are no longer permitted as monuments. Existing benches will remain until such time it is determined that replacement is necessary. Then, the bench will be replaced with an approved monument.
  • Services will no longer be permitted on Sundays and holidays.
  • Updated fees will be $550 per grave plot and $6000-$7500 per mausoleum crypt.


Human Rights Commission

The Board approved an ordinance amending Paducah Code of Ordinances Section 58-32 related to the Human Rights Commission. This amendment changes the composition of the Human Rights Commission from five members to seven members. This change is in preparation for the repopulation and activation of the Commission. Mayor Bray said interviews of potential members began today with appointments expected in July. One of the first tasks for the new Human Rights Commission will be to review the existing ordinance and make any recommendations changes.


Paducah Census Data Overview

Planning Director Nic Hutchison provided an overview of Paducah’s census data. In comparing the 2010 and 2020 census results, Paducah saw an 8.44 percent increase in population. McCracken County as a whole grew more than 3 percent. The census tracts in Paducah and McCracken County that saw the largest population growth were two Lone Oak tracts, downtown, and Fountain Avenue. Fountain Avenue had an 88.7 percent increase in population. Regarding housing units, Paducah saw a slight increase in 2020 with 13,193.


911 Upgrade Discussion

Mayor Bray and City Manager Jordan updated the Board on the project to upgrade the 911 system, specifically the radio system and towers. Two bids were received for the project which are under review. Representatives from the City and County are meeting on Monday to discuss this critical capital improvement project. A parallel discussion is underway regarding the funding of operations and the capital improvements. Annually the City and County provide a total of approximately $2 million from their general funds to support 911 operations. This Friday, the Mayor and City Manager are meeting with Kenton County, Kentucky, representatives to learn the pros and cons of a parcel fee. Mayor Bray emphasized the importance of partnering with McCracken County on a funding source. City Manager Jordan thanked the work of the 911 Communication Oversight Committee which met 18 times in 2022.


Boards and Commissions

  • Reappointment of Sheryl Chino and joint reappointment of Tom Padgett to the Paducah-McCracken County Convention Center Corporation.
  • Reappointment of Simone Fearon and John Durbin to the Paducah-McCracken County Senior Citizens, Inc. Board.
  • Appointment of Gerald Watkins to the Board of Ethics.
  • Appointment of Eric C. Straub to the Paducah Junior College Board of Trustees.


Resolution Establishing the Six Ethics Principles

The Kentucky League of Cities (KLC) offers a Certified City of Ethics Program which recognizes cities and city officials that have adopted principles and procedures that offer guidance on ethical issues and a mechanism to resolve complaints at the local level. Currently, 37 cities in Kentucky have been named as a Certified City of Ethics. To apply for this program a city must adopt a resolution establishing the six ethics principles to govern the conduct of city officials and employees; review and update Paducah’s current Ethics Ordinance to ensure that it meets the standards set out in KRS 65.003; and enter into an agreement with KLC to carry out the program requirements including training.

At this meeting, the Board adopted a resolution establishing the following six ethics principles:

  • Serve the public interest, not our own;
  • Fulfill the duties and responsibilities of holding public office;
  • Be ethical and professional;
  • Be fiscally responsible with the city resources;
  • Communicate effectively and respectively; and
  • Create an environment of honesty, openness, and integrity.


Additional Meeting Information

  • New employees were introduced to the Board including Parks Maintenance Supervisor John Willoughby and Planner Palmer Stroup.
  • Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Mary Hammond updated the Board on the ways Paducah is celebrating the 10th anniversary as a UNESCO Creative City.
  • Municipal Order approved authorizing the payment to Clean Earth, Inc. for household hazardous and electronic waste collected during this year’s Spring Clean Up Day. The City received a grant from the Kentucky Division of Waste Management to cover a portion of the cost.
  • Municipal Order approved for a contract with Evard-Kentucky Division, Inc. for exterior repairs to Fire Station #2 located at 3000 Wayne Sullivan Drive.
  • Municipal Order approved authorizing a contract with 911 Fleet and Fire Equipment for bailout kits and harnesses for the Fire Department. The City received a FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant for this project.
  • Municipal Orders approved for the declaration and sale of surplus property located at 1201 Park Avenue and 1011 Oscar Cross.
  • Resolution approved stating the City will abide by all program income requirements for Community Development Block Grants.
  • Ordinance approved for the three-year agreement between the City of Paducah and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) AFL-CIO, Local 1586. The agreement is from July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2026.
  • Ordinance approved amending Paducah Code of Ordinances Section 98-144 related to Special Events. This amendment puts into the code information found in the Special Events Policy.
  • Ordinance introduced to amend Paducah Code of Ordinances Chapter 2. This amendment is based on the passage of House Bill 522 which is effective July 1 that amends KRS 45A.385. This increases the dollar threshold that triggers the requirement to use competitive bidding from $30,000 to $40,000.
  • Ordinance introduced to amend the current fiscal year budget to move $650,000 from the Investment Fund’s reserve to be used for improvements to city facilities.
  • City Manager Jordan said the City is working with the legal team to go through the foreclosure process to gain possession of the deteriorating Katterjohn Building located at 1501 Broadway.
  • City Manager Jordan said that Monday is a City holiday to celebrate Juneteenth. He encouraged folks to come to the Carson Center’s Juneteenth event on Monday which is sponsored by the City of Paducah.