Possible delay for Paducah Riverfront Project


Reporter - Elizabeth Fields
Photojournalist - Mason Watkins
Web Editor - Mason Stevenson

PADUCAH, Ky. - After months of discussion and several increases to the budget, the Paducah, Kentucky city manager recommends letting the current contractor's contract expire and re-evaluating the Paducah Riverfront Project.

The first stage of the project includes creating a land mass or "bump out" and was supposed to cost about $3 million.  The price tag increased by more than a million dollars when Mac Construction bid on and took the job.

Now that the contract with Mac is up, city manager Jeff Pedersen says leaders have to decide on whether to amend the current contract or end it.

He suggests ending it because there's a lot of information about the project they still don't know and the one thing they do know is there's not enough money to complete this as designed.

City officials say with so much focus on the first stage of the project, many are forgetting the big picture.

The project is a park.  The problem is there's not enough funding for the project as it is and there's a chance they'll need to make some design changes.  So the city would like to enlist the help of the Paducah Riverfront Development Authority. Commissioners seemed to agree with the recommendation.

"Lets get more information, Eric look at this and if funds are available to do what we want to do, great. If its not, we put a fresh set of eyes on this and do what we can afford to do," Commissioner Richard Abraham said.

"I'm feeling a little bit disappointed but also relieved in a way that we're going to look at this and make the right decision," Commissioner Sandra Wilson said.

Because the phase is funded mostly by a federal grant, that right decision will still have to be a quick one.

Paducah City Engineer Rich Murphy said, "Time is of the essence here but this will be something we should go to work in immediately to make those deadlines."

There weren't a lot of details about the information commissioners now need before moving forward, but Pedersen did say they have gotten new information recently that there has been less settlement underneath the rock than anyone thought before.

Some questions focused on the money that has already gone into developing this site.

Pedersen told Local 6 that money has still served its purpose and will not be wasted.  It is already being used to help Mac Construction finish this job.