Paducah’s Southside area is the focus of a new “Rise & Shine” initiative planned for this summer, which involves week-long targeted beautification efforts in eight Southside neighborhoods over eight weeks.
“We really want to generate community pride, networking, neighbors working with neighbors, and neighbors asking questions of where they can find the resources they need, and then getting those resources to them,” Pam Spencer, the city’s communications manager, told The Sun.
“A lot of this is going to be volunteer coordination, and just building up a whole community by the community members themselves.”
The Paducah City Commission in March adopted its priorities, which had “Southside enhancements,” among the top 12. There were also two public town hall meetings at Soirées Events & Catering, that took place on March 4 and March 11, where people could offer comments about the Southside.
Beautification is one of the issues that came up during those meetings.
The Southside “Rise & Shine” events are expected to begin the first week of June, and last through late July. The city plans for these events to focus on a different neighborhood for each week. They are: Littleville, Walter Jetton, Kolb Park, Uppertown, River Park, Dolly McNutt, Ella Munal and Farley Place.
“The ‘Rise and Shine’ program, obviously, all the details are not (finalized), but I think our first area that we’re going to focus in on will be Littleville,” City Commissioner Raynarldo Henderson said.
He said the city will probably start with the smaller neighborhoods first.
“We’re still identifying all that needs to be done in Littleville,” he added.
“There is one church in Littleville and I’m trying to make contact with that pastor and with that church and ask them to be a host site. We’re still obviously looking for volunteers, and the volunteers don’t have to come from Littleville.”
Officials said the Public Works Department will provide additional garbage rollouts, as well as dumpster locations for large items. They will be available during each neighborhood’s week. The neighborhoods are encouraged to collect litter and help beautify homes and yards.
Each week will end on Sunday with a day of volunteering and a neighborhood ice cream social, according to the city. Residents are asked to stay tuned for more details, as they are finalized.
“We’ve had some great outreach from volunteers. Baptist Health has said that they want to help. CFSB is a huge partner in all of this,” Spencer said. “They’re going to be working on the celebrations that would be on the Sundays. Lowes has offered volunteers, so we are getting so much wonderful interaction among the community.”
The “Rise & Shine” events will be part of an effort to engage Southside neighborhoods and find residents who want to help on a Southside steering committee. Anyone that has input about the Southside or interest in being on a steering committee can email the city at email@example.com.
In a news release, Mayor George Bray said the city is looking at a long-term plan for the Southside, which he noted is about one-third of Paducah’s area.
“Our goals are to maintain the enthusiasm and partnerships that emerged from the March public meetings by creating events that foster community pride and outreach,” he said. “Plus, we want to engage the community through both a business and residential steering committee to help determine a long-term plan for the residents and businesses.”
In related Southside matters, Bray and Henderson recently had a second meeting with the city manager’s office and several city staff members to continue working on a “vision and action plan” for Southside neighborhoods.
McCracken County Judge-Executive Craig Clymer and County Project Manager Steve Ervin attended this meeting.
Officials said July 1 marks the beginning of the fiscal year. The city’s developing its Fiscal Year 2022 budget and it includes funding for the Southside to “implement programs for business and housing incentives.”