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.
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Paducah, KY 42003