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City moves to end PRA, Main Street

BY CORIANNE EGANcegan@paducahsun.com

The Paducah City Commission will move to abolish what is left of the city's Main Street Department and the Paducah Renaissance Alliance Board in the coming weeks, making way for a new and less complex structure.

The city revised PRA and the Main Street Department twice in the past three years, but most recently abolished both in favor of simplifying and streamlining two main goals: historic preservation and event coordination. This winter two staff members were hired - Molly Tomasello as special events coordinator and Melinda Winchester as downtown development specialist - who will work under the Parks Services Department and the Planning Department, respectively.

On Tuesday, the commission introduced an ordinance to make more changes to city policies. They  include abolishing the still-active PRA advisory board and officially abolishing the Main Street Department. The ordinance also proposes a new board: the Main Street Board of Directors. That board will work toward  getting the city reaccredited nationally as a Main Street Program.

Main Street programs are located in small towns across America and spur reinvestment in historic downtown areas.

In other business, the mayor and commissioners approved a municipal order to apply for a 2014 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to begin the development of a park on 14th Street. The grant request is for $75,000 and will require a match of $75,000. The first phase of the project would consist of excavating and grading the property to create a smooth open area for field sports and community events. The project is estimated to cost nearly $161,000.

The commission also heard the introduction of an ordinance that would annex land along Olivet Church Road, the current location of the Huck's convenience store. If the ordinance is passed at the next city commission meeting, the city will have to bring the change to the Paducah Planning Commission, which will finalize the parcel's city zoning.

Contact Corianne Egan, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8652 or follow @CoriEgan on Twitter.

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