Bids will open for Olivet Church Road expansion later this month

Paducah City commissioners discussed several city projects at Tuesday’s commission meeting.  Here are the highlights:

Fountain Avenue Park Development

Parks Services Director Mark Thompson, along with United Way of Paducah-McCracken County Executive Director Monique Zuber and Mike Muscarella, director of rehabilitation services at Baptist Health Paducah, explained the partnership that is leading to the creation of a new park in the Fountain Avenue Neighborhood. 

The park is to be developed on the city-owned property bordered by Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, 13th Street, Madison Street, and 14th Street. The partnership, called the Purchase Area Connections for Health, includes the core agencies of the city of Paducah, United Way of Paducah-McCracken County, Baptist Health Paducah, Lourdes Hospital, and the Purchase District Health Department.

At this meeting, the Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance to accept the Investing in Kentucky’s Future grant for the park in the amount of $400,000 from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. The grant requires a cash match of $200,000, which will be satisfied through a 2014 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant in the amount of $75,000, its cash match in the amount of $75,000, and donations of $25,000 each from the two hospitals. 

A fundraising campaign for the park will be initiated by members of the partnership to fully fund the construction of the park.  At this time more than $600,000 is available to start the first phase of the park.

Currently, the park consists of a large open area and the city’s community garden. The vision for the park is to create an outdoor health park with an open field, a third of a mile walking trail, inclusive playground, an expansion of the community garden, a spray pad and outdoor performance area, outdoor fitness equipment, and picnic areas.  

In the future, there would be public restrooms, and the end of the park facing MLK Drive would include retail and professional office space for medical clinics and related agencies with upper story living. The theme of the park is to provide a venue for local schools, the parks department, and other agencies to educate the public, especially youth, about proper diet and exercise.  

“This is a park dedicated to a healthy population in Paducah and a healthy Kentucky.”  Mayor Gayle Kaler says, “This will be so good to use that area in such a way to create a healthier Paducah,”

The program, called C.A.T.C.H. (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) will be implemented this fall in the local schools to educate children on the benefits of healthy decisions and healthy lifestyles. Regarding the park construction, the engineering design should be complete next spring with the first phase of construction expected to begin in the summer of 2016.

Fire Prevention Division Progress Report

Fire Chief Steve Kyle and Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention Greg Cherry updated the Paducah Board of Commissioners on the progress made by the Fire Prevention Division since its creation in 2012. At that time, the former City of Paducah Inspection Department merged with the Paducah Fire Department, which led to the creation of the Fire Prevention Division.  

Since 2012, the staff has worked to improve customer service and operational efficiencies.  Regarding customer service, Fire Prevention has created a customer service satisfaction survey that is available online and in the office. In May, staff will take part in customer service training offered through the International Code Council.  

The inspectors are also working to provide on-the-spot information to customers by printing corrections lists and other information in the field.  Fire Prevention also is networking with other jurisdictions to improve consistency across the region and state. “It help us make sure that everyone in the region is treated the same way as the code is interpreted and in how actions are taken,” Kyle says, 

Kyle also updated the board on the demolitions for this fiscal year. The city has completed 24 demolitions, with property owners completing an additional 25. At this time, 117 structures are on the demolition list.  

Kyle explained the process that occurs for any building project. It involves the submission and subsequent review of plans, the correction of the plans, the issuing of a permit, construction, inspection, and the issuing of a certificate of occupancy.  

This process can involve numerous parties, including the owner, architect, engineer, contractor, and fire prevention staff.  

“I’m proud of the work in this department and the leadership,” City Manager Jeff Pederson says, 

Regarding building projects, Pederson adds, “There is a lot of potential for miscommunication. We are working with stakeholders to improve that. It’s highly regulatory, that’s a fact. But it’s a matter of how we deliver the service.”

Olivet Church Road Improvement Project

The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance to execute Supplemental Agreement No. 1 between the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the city for the construction phase of the Olivet Church Road Improvement Project.  The city, McCracken County, and the state are working together to make major improvements along Olivet Church Road (Kentucky 998).   

The 2007 agreement with the Cabinet allowed for the city to be reimbursed by the cabinet up to $2 million for expenses incurred for right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation. That work has been completed.  The supplemental agreement will provide the city with $6.2 million of state funding for the construction of the Olivet Church Road Improvement Project.  

The construction phase currently is advertised for bids, with a bid opening set for April 24.  The project includes the construction of a new five-lane roadway section from U.S. 60 to Olivet Church through the western end of the parking area at Kentucky Oaks Mall. Olivet Church Road will be changed to a three-lane roadway from where the new-five lane intersects it to U.S. 60. 

Summer Calendar for Special Events

Parks Services Department Special Events Coordinator Molly Tomasallo outlined the calendar for special events to be offered this summer, including Live on the River events, which will be on the following Saturdays: June 6, July 4, and Aug. 1. The Thursday evening Riverfront Concert Series will be expanded to six events for this summer. Those dates are May 28, June 11, June 25, July 9, July 23, and Aug. 6. 

Vendors for the Farmers’ Market will begin setting up on April 25, with the season to run through Oct. 31.  A grand opening celebration will be held May 9 with special Celebration Saturdays to continue once each month. The Farmers’ Market will be open 7:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on Monday through Saturday during the season.

Creative Cities Presentation

Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Mary Hammond introduced Master Papermaker Sandro Tiberi. He arrived in Paducah last Saturday for a weeklong residency through the Artist-in-Residency Program. 

Tiberi’s visit is the first by an artist from another UNESCO Creative City.  Tiberi’s hometown of Fabriano, Italy, was designated a UNESCO Creative City in the area of Crafts and Folk Art along with Paducah in 2013. Mayor Gayle Kaler presented Tiberi with a Duke of Paducah. The Paducah Board of Commissioners approved a municipal order to provide $700 toward his residency.  

Quick Highlights

  • Mayor Gayle Kaler presented the Mayor’s Award of Merit, the highest honor from the Mayor’s office, to Daniel Mullen.  Mullin, a PGA professional, is the director of golf and operations at Paxton Park Golf Course. 
  • Mayor Kaler presented Duke and Duchess awards to Steve Kettler, William Sturgis, Wanda Mullinax-Williams for their years of service on the Paducah Golf Commission. Kaler also presented a Duke of Paducah award to Dr. Jeffrey Seay for his work through the University of Kentucky College of Engineering. Seay and Kaler are working to put together a container of books and medical supplies to send to Gabon this summer.
  • Boards and Commissions:  Joshua Tabor appointed to the Tree Advisory Board. Bill Wells, Steve Seltzer, and Janie Smith appointed to the Paducah Golf Commission.
  • Municipal order approved to apply for the fiscal year 2014 Fire Prevention and Safety Program grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The requested amount is $$25,976.80, which would be used to help fund the Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program if awarded and to provide training for the Paducah Fire Department. A 5 percent match is required.
  • Municipal order approved to apply for the Kentucky League of Cities Insurance Services Safety Grant program. The grant request is for $3,000 with a match from the city in the amount of $3,090.  The funds would be used to purchase 126 replacement cartridges for gas masks for the Paducah Police Department.
  • Ordinance introduced for a five-year extension of the lease between the city and AT&T. AT&T leases space on the 800 MHz tower located at 510 Clark Street. This agreement also includes the monthly payment of $1633.50 by AT&T. That amount will increase 10 percent every five years as part of the agreement.
  • Ordinance introduced to amend the city’s procurement code to match revisions to KRS 45A.345 through 45A.460 for competitive bidding.  These amendments will remove from the city’s code a maximum advertisement time of 21 days and will add the internet as an advertisement alternate.
  • Ordinance introduced for a contract for an agreement with the Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau in the amount of $25,000 on behalf of the American Quilter’s Society for marketing of events and venues related to the 2015 AQS QuiltWeek.

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