Paducah city commissioners still strongly against Sansone development

A sharply worded email in response to Sansone Group’s presentation to the McCracken County School Board Tuesday by Paducah Economic Development CEO Scott Darnell has the backing of City Commissioner Allan Rhodes.

"Business people do what’s in their own best interest regardless of how they go about it," Commissioner Rhodes told Local 6.

Darnell said Sansone Group used "bullying tactics" by addressing the school board about its proposed shopping center. Darnell went on to say "This project is nothing more than a greedy developer looking to increase its bottom line on the backs of Paducah’s taxpaying citizens."

Paducah is No. 1 in per capita retail sales in Kentucky. Because of that, Rhodes believes there is not a need to give incentives. He said there would be a moral hazard in doing so.

"I just don’t want to pick winners and losers, and I don’t think that’s fair," Rhodes said.

This city has given retail incentives in the past. According to their own records, the city gave Hooper’s more than $230,000 to relocate from the mall area to downtown in 2008. Rhodes said that was different because the city was looking to turn around downtown.

"We wanted a retail business downtown so we incentivized them. Why would the city incentivize a company to go out by the mall, which is already an economic boom-land?" Rhodes asked.

In response to Darnell’s letter, Jim Sansone with Sansone Group said "What is important is that we have an opportunity to submit our development proposal, so that the public and elected officials can review it based on its merits." 

We have received widespread support from the community," Sansone continued. "They have made it clear that they want to hear our proposal, and we hope they get that chance. This is a win-win for the community, and they deserve to hear it."

Rhodes said there are no future meetings scheduled with Sansone.

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