The City of Paducah and McCracken County are one step closer to an agreement that involves generating revenue for a future sports facility.
City commissioners introduced ordinances Tuesday night to create a separate county tourism commission focused on the facility, to increase a hotel tax rate and to change the name of the convention and visitors bureau to have a city focus.
The effort involves building an indoor recreation facility and youth league sports fields for tournaments. According to city Public Information Officer Pam Spencer, the process is underway for companies to submit their qualifications to design the facility and fields.
Commissioner Brenda McElroy said Paducah’s economy needs the changes for reasons beyond tourism. “You’ve probably tried to recruit business people,” she said. “And they want to know where your state of the art ball fields are and swimming pool and all that and we do not have that. And we are lagging behind. If you go to other cities you see that and you can see why people turn their families that way.”
One ordinance is for an interlocal agreement between the City of Paducah, McCracken County, the Paducah Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Julian Carroll Convention Center and the McCracken County Tourism Sports Commission. This agreement would allow the latter to pursue the development of a “tournament-worthy” sports facility.
Another ordinance shifts the current transient room tax of 6% to be a county-collected tax, of which half would go to the sports commission (and the other half toward the Carson Center and Convention Center). Another 4% City Room Tax within the Paducah city limits will involve 3% going to the Paducah Convention and Visitors Bureau and 1% to the convention center.
A third ordinance renames the “Paducah-McCracken County Convention & Visitors Bureau” as the “Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau” - with the city having sole authority over its board.
The ordinances will have a second reading on August 26.