Demolition work on the Katterjohn building is done. For now.
Commissioners passed a $60,000 emergency ordinance Tuesday in what Fire Chief Steve Kyle called “a stopgap.” With the demo work complete, minor tasks remain to stabilize the front porch and weather-tighten a back part of the deteriorating building.
Kyle referenced recurring vagrants. “The building was unsecured; we couldn’t keep it secured, as we had many, many entries. We’d secure it, then (people) would go right back in.
“The structure’s instability, coupled with the inability to keep the building secured — and the owner not participating in that — led us to the emergency order of demolishing the section of the building that wasn’t stable. We only addressed what had to be done. There may come a time when we have to do it all.”
The large once-hospital has changed owners several times, but Evergreen Development, LLC, bought it in May 2021.
Since then, the city has alleged owner neglect after more than 20 citations and an April meeting about children entering the unsafe building.
Recently, The Sun reported that Amanda Pool, an Evergreen managing member, said the city acted without her knowledge. She raised concerns about asbestos, which Bray called “a high priority” Tuesday, before confirming the city would continue trying to work with Evergreen on a long-term solution.
Commissioners accepted a $1 million Community Development Block Grant, applied for in July, for the Paducah-McCracken County Senior Center to purchase land for a planned 7,000-square-foot facility at 16th and Kentucky Avenue.
The Senior Center operates on HC Mathis Drive at the Parks & Recreation Department building.
“I’m sure there’s some trepidation about leaving that building, but I’m confident when this building is built, it’ll be better than ever,” said David Troutman, Senior Center board chairman. “Since COVID, a lot of seniors have gotten used to not coming back into the center. I’m hopeful when it gets built, it’ll be a grand opening.”
Jordan said evaluation work continued for the Cherry Civic Center after a semi-truck hit it last month, causing structural damage. A request for proposals will go out later.
The city is issuing an RFP for pickleball court construction in Noble Park. In July, the city approved a development contract with Bacon Farmer Workmen.
City Manager Daron Jordan called it joining in “the pickleball craze,” with eight courts planned for future tournaments if hosted.
“While we’re aware of the need and growth of the sport for our locals, we wanted to also put something in place for the opportunity to host a tournament, whether regional or on a larger scale,” Jordan said. McCracken County is also restriping Heath Park tennis courts for 10 pickleball courts.
“I’m glad we’re finally participating in the pickleball boom,” Bray said.
Members approved a $995,000 construction contract for Paducah Transient Dock dredging — a three-year project with $3.98 obligated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“Let’s make the math easy and say it’s $1 million,” City Engineer Rick Murphy said. “It’s five cents on the dollar for us. We’re getting $1 million of work done for us at $50,000 a year. We’ll be removing about 60,000 cubic yards of material and disposing it in deep water out in the Ohio River. The year after we’ll do another 60,000 yards, then the year after another.”
The city is applying for a $975,000 FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant to aid a $1.3 million stormwater infrastructure project on 14th Street. The city matches $169,000 from American Rescue Plan Act monies, with $156,000 state-matched.
Members adopted an ordinance for zoning text amendments, including parallel rezoning with annexation and a universal statute on signage, among other changes.
The city observed Residents’ Rights Month, recognizing those in assisted living and nursing facilities. Bray presented a plaque to River Haven Nursing & Rehabilitation, a local home, calling the cause “noteworthy.”
“My father died suddenly in the early 80s, but my mom lived till 2003, in a nursing home the last six months of her life,” he said. “I saw firsthand what it’s like. It’s important to recognize their rights as citizens.”
In other business:
- The board approved a $120,000 services contract with Barkley Regional Airport Authority in four $30,000 installments.
- City Manager Daron Jordan is issuing a request for qualifications for city facilities’ energy efficiency, including a review of HVAC and electrical systems, energy-conservation efforts and overall reducing carbon footprint.
- The Paducah Fire Department is purchasing a $679,587 pumper truck, and the city accepted a two-year contract for purchasing city police uniforms and gear.
- The city is applying for a $12,474 Kentucky Office of Homeland Security cybersecurity grant, with 10% city-matched at $13,860.
- Commissioners approved $54,736 for Coleman Park playground equipment from $45,000 ARPA monies and $9,736 of the Parks & Recreation Department’s operating budget.