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McCracken Fiscal Court rejects Macco site bids

BY KATHLEEN FOXkfox@paducahsun.com

The Fiscal Count rejected the first round of bids that would begin construction on the future home of a manufacturing company moving into Paducah.

Members unanimously voted to reject the construction bids received for work to the Canadian-based Macco Organiques building in the Industrial Park West on Commerce Road during a Monday night meeting. Macco agreed to take over PED's spec building and will manufacture pharmaceuticals. The company announced last March plans to expand to a plant in Paducah that will bring 40 jobs.

The interlocal agreement states that the county and city will each pay the Paducah Economic Development $1.25 million toward the project. Judge-Executive Van Newberry said city, county and Macco officials agreed that the amount of all six bids were too high. The court took sealed bids and then read them publicly on April 17.

He said the amount far surpassed the allocation from the city and county and the reasonable expectation of representatives from Macco. The specifications will be re-evaluated and revised before reopening the bidding. The previous timeline had Macco occupying the building and production beginning by the end of this year.

More than a dozen residents opposing a partnership the county and the Humane Society to operate an animal shelter attended Monday's meeting. A discussion was not on the meeting agenda, and the court didn't act.

Diana Cruikshank, a task force member who voted against the merger, said opponents wanted to make their presence known and have begun obtaining signatures on a petition against the action.

Another group member presented the court with a spay and neuter proposal to review.

The task force appointed by Newberry and Mayor Gayle Kaler voted 7-3 earlier this month to recommend a partnership with the Humane Society. The committee also passed a secondary recommendation to build an independently run facility.

The task force met multiple times over two months to debate three options: fixing up the current shelter on County Park Road, building a new independent shelter or exploring outside partnerships.

Task force chairman Tim Davis will present the group's recommendation to the court at its next meeting on May 12. The court will then likely hold a workshop to hear concerns from residents before acting on the committee's recommendation, according to Newberry.

He said the issue is an "important and expensive one,"  and has a direct impact on the budget for the next fiscal year.

In other meeting business, the court passed a resolution for the transportation of non-public school children, which are pass-through funds from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to local school boards. Commissioners approved the purchase of three of the 12 homes from Western Kentucky Title as part of the FEMA mitigation program. Commissioner Ronnie Freeman also asked the court to consider hiring a part-time internal auditor during this round of budget discussions.

Contact Kathleen Fox, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8651 or follow @kathleendfox on Twitter.

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