A wolf by its ears……..
I’ve never actually had a wolf by its ears, but I think I’m getting the idea with our Riverfront Park …..ah….situation. First, some background, assuming you have lived under a tub or been on vacation to Mars these last few months.
From the first “proposed construction cost” document the “bump out” was estimated to cost about $50,000 more than the HUD Grant. By the time the bids were received and rebid to lower the cost, the “bump out” had ballooned to $1,500,000 over budget. I voted against this project. A few weeks ago, the cost was raised by another $250,000 for the gangway pilings. I voted against this also. Last week, due to subsidence, we were told that we were now another $800,000 short to raise the “bump out” to the desired level. The other commissioners are now waiting for more information before voting. I will vote against these additional monies. My last “wolf by its ears” fact is that the city spent $1,264,915 from the period 2008 thru 2013, which is in addition to the spending discussed above. I wasn’t a commissioner to vote against this.
If the project stops right now, I suspect the city will be forced to spend some money to bring even the incomplete “bump out” into Corps of Engineers compliance. We would have no choice but to comply.
So, where are we without spending the additional $800,000? We have a rock pile some 20 feet below where it needs to be and therefore not usable for any purpose. Whether the city spends the $800,00 or not, the gangway pilings that the entire marina service building, transient boat dock, and boat slips are attached to, will be finished. That was in the earlier $250,000 the commission approved by a 4 to 1 vote. Remember, I voted “no.”
Your commissioner has an idea, maybe. If all of us take a blood oath—the mayor
and commissioners—that we would not build the aforementioned marina service building, transient boat dock and boat slips, I would vote to finish the “bump out,” to make it into a riverfront park. Understand, we would have to spend $800,000 of city money to do this. If no agreement to use the funds to create only a park, then I vote “no” on any further spending.
This park--let’s call it “Festival Park” to give it a more positive image-- would be constructed for all to enjoy. “Festival Park” would be approximately a three acre green space overlooking the Ohio River that all Paducahans, whether picnickers, frisbee players or river watchers, could enjoy.
The city has already been awarded a $3,811,000 Federal Highway Administration Grant, which we should be able to use for the park. The rest of the (unused) grants go back to their sponsoring agencies.
So there you have it. The trick, of course, is not to let the wolf bite us as we let go of his ears. Or should I say, not get bitten more severely than we already have been.