Declaration and Sale of Surplus Property at 1400 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive
The Mayor and Commissioners approved a municipal order to declare the City-owned property located at 1400 Martin Luther King, Jr. drive as surplus property and transfer the 1.09 acres to Hutcheson Properties, LLC for $1.00. Hutcheson Properties plans to invest $500,000 by constructing an office building that would be the primary office of 5H Technologies, Inc., an engineering firm currently located on Kentucky Avenue. The firm employs ten and has plans for a future expansion. This would be the first new commercial structure and business in the Fountain Avenue Neighborhood as part of the revitalization. The new office building will be a single story building approximately 6000-7000 square feet. The final building design and site layout will require approval form the Historical & Architectural Review Commission. Construction is anticipated to begin in October or November.
Fountain Avenue Commercial Construction Financial Assistance Program
The Mayor and Commissioners approved an ordinance creating a commercial construction financial assistance program for the Fountain Avenue Neighborhood. This incentive package is similar to the existing incentive package for residents. The construction incentive package will help promote new commercial construction in the Fountain Avenue Neighborhood by providing monetary incentives to property owners that spend a minimum of $100,000 constructing new commercial buildings in compliance with the neighborhood design guidelines. An approved participant can receive a five-year forgivable loan up to 10% of the actual construction costs not to exceed $20,000. The total expenditures for the new incentive program are limited at $40,000. Planning Director Steve Ervin says helping the initial private commercial investments will help generate more confidence in future commercial development.
Transfer of LowerTown Properties for Artist Relocation Recruitment Program (vote Sept. 11)
The Mayor and Commissioners introduced an ordinance to approve the transfer of seven pieces of property from Friends of Main Street, Inc. to the City of Paducah. The properties are located at 427 North 6th Street; 421 North 5th Street; 625 North 6th Street; 717 Harrison; 517 North 7th Street; 511-517 North 5th Street; and 533 Madison Street. Paducah Renaissance Alliance (the Main Street Department) will work to sell and convey the property to qualified candidates under the Artist Relocation Recruitment Program. Four of the parcels are vacant lots. PRA Executive Director Lisa Thompson has a vision for the property located at 533 Madison Street, the Smedley-Yeiser house. Thompson would like the property to eventually become the office for PRA in addition to a LowerTown information center that could offer meeting and gallery space. Thompson also plans to have a design prepared for a smaller more economical home with a studio/gallery that could be built on one of the vacant lots by a prospective artist. The home would be in the $125,000-$150,000 price range. Thompson says, “Every week I get artists from all over the country calling me who want to move here.” The smaller house/gallery design would be attractive and more affordable to a larger group of prospective artists.
MOU for Incentives for H.B. Fuller (vote Sept. 11)
The Mayor and Commissioners introduced an ordinance for a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the City of Paducah and H.B. Fuller, an industrial adhesives manufacturer located at 5000 Charter Oak Drive in Paducah. In 2010, the company announced an investment in a new line of equipment at its Paducah plant which would increase the number of jobs at the facility. The company applied for tax benefits through the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority’s (KEDFA) Business Investment Program. Final approval of the tax benefits is on KEDFA’s agenda for its September 27 meeting. H.B. Fuller states that it is investing $1,854,401 in the plant upgrades with the planned addition of 14 new jobs to its existing workforce of 45. The tax benefits from the State include an incentive up to $250,000. The state incentives require a local match. In the MOU, once H.B. Fuller hires the 14 new employees, the City of Paducah will provide a rebate to H.B. Fuller of 1 percent of the taxable wages of those employees for a period no longer than ten years.
· Ordinance approved accepting FEMA’s Fire Prevention and Safety Grant in the amount of $78,979. The grant requires a local match of $8775. The funds will be used for the salary and benefits for a deputy fire marshal position and to provide funding for the Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program of Paducah-McCracken County.
· Ordinance approved accepting the Kentucky Arts Council’s 2013 Kentucky Cultural District Grant award in the amount of $5000. This grant does not require a local match. The funds will be used for the planning and designing of a way-finding program for the cultural arts district downtown and in LowerTown.
· Ordinances approved for annual contracts with Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center (in the amount of $68,220) and EntrePaducah (in the amount of $100,000).
· Ordinances introduced (vote Sept. 11) to purchase the following vehicles utilizing the State contract in accordance with the Fleet Plan:
o Two Dodge Chargers for the Police Department in the amount of $56,452.40;
o Three Ford Police Interceptor vehicles for the Police Department in the amount of $86006.64;
o One Chevrolet Suburban for the Parks Department in the amount of $30,470.00;
o One Ford F150 ½ ton truck for the Fire Prevention Division in the amount of $33,786.12; and
o One Ford Escape for the Fire Prevention Division in the amount of $22,028.00.
· The Mayor and Commissioners in addition to Gary Vander Boegh, representing several former Paducah gaseous diffusion plant workers who contracted illnesses as a result of exposure to radiation and other toxic substances, discussed the problems that several local residents have had filing claims and getting them approved through the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA). The Mayor and Commissioners will schedule a workshop in the future to discuss if there is anything that Paducah can do to expedite the process. If a former employee is approved through EEOICPA, the program pays $150,000 plus medical benefits to eligible workers or their survivors.