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Paducah Commissioners Discuss Future Revitalization Plans

City of Paducah

The Paducah Board of Commissioners met Tuesday night to discuss the future of revitalization efforts for the city. 

City Manager Jeff Pederson and Planning Director Steve Ervin presented the board with ideas and strategies for potential projects. Ervin said the workshop discussion involved demographics, job opportunities, private investments, available land and other components in the revitalization project.

One of the key questions was: "What will make or makes the next neighborhood attractive enough for people to be willing to reinvest their money and live in the neighborhood when they have the means to live elsewhere in other currently desirable neighborhoods?"

Ervin said the community played a major role in past projects in LowerTown and Fountain Avenue, which led to rebuilding more than 100 structures.

“You know you’re talking about having a healthy neighborhood. It’s a place where people want to live, it’s a place that people are proud of. The structures are in good condition, the infrastructure is good, there’s low crime. It’s just healthy," said Ervin.

City Commissioner Richard Abraham said efforts to change LowerTown and Fountain Avenue were a major success in increasing business and decreasing crime. 

Abraham said in some cases property owners who live out of town and collect rent from tenants aren’t properly maintaining the building, which he said can be a problem when it comes to safety.

“If the structure gets to the point where it’s not safe and then city inspections come and condemn the house because it’s not safe to live in then the person living there… well you can’t stay there… well where are they gonna go?" Abraham said.

Mayor Gayle Kaler said future sessions will seek input from selected neighborhoods and final determinations will be made by the Urban Renewal and Community Development Agency (URCDA), which is authorized under the Kentucky Revised Statues to oversee neighborhood redevelopment efforts.

Ebony Clark is a student at Murray State University majoring in computer science. She was born in Brownsville, Tennessee. Ebony has served as a reporter for 4-H congress in Nashville, TN where she spoke with several state leaders and congressmen. Ebony enjoys writing poetry and spoken word and competed in Tennessee's Poetry Out Loud competition hosted by the arts council in Nashville,TN.
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