The Paducah City Commission authorized on Tuesday a $83,887 contract to replace the Market House building roof at 132 Market House Square.
The contract will allow Chambers Roofing Co. to replace approximately 18,000 square-feet of the building roof. Chris Yarber, the city’s public works director, said the top suffered substantial weather damage from recent storms.
“We’ve had several locations that received storm damage,” he said. “This one is a priority to get fixed.”
The city opened sealed bids on Aug. 3 for the project and had only one bidder in Chambers Roofing Co.
Yarber said the city-owned building is vital to Paducah and its tenants. He warned that delaying replacements could cause further damage, harming business properties.
“It’s a historic building, and we want to take care of it, so as opposed to a shelter at Noble Park roof needing to be replaced, this one will go first,” he added.
Dimensional shingles would replace the already-worn roof. Yarber said it’s also installing a ridge vent to increase ventilation for the building — something the building doesn’t already have.
The building insurance money would also help with some additional roof construction costs. Yarber said it can file a claim on several buildings at a time, and the risk manager is currently working through that process. Yarber said this is something that is needed now.
“If the roof needs to be fixed, we can’t wait on insurance money by getting more damage, so we will fix it now,” he said.
The project start date is yet to be determined, but it’s anticipated that it will be completed within eight days. Weather or business operations may cause the timeline to extend.
The city commission also approved the fiscal year 2024 budget for the Section 8 housing choice voucher program. Housing Authority of Paducah executive director Joseph Anderson said the budget is $2 million. The funding goes from July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024.
The federal government voucher program assists low-income families, older adults and people with disabilities to afford decent, safe and sanitary housing in the private market — enabling families to move without the loss of housing assistance.
Lasica McEwen, the Section 8 program director, said it receives funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which the city allocates.
To determine the needed funding, HUD evaluates the number of vouchers used. When the program has more vouchers, the more funding the program receives.
The program could start seeing funding as early as next week. There are 628 families needing assistance, but the city only has enough funding to cover roughly 400, and the waitlist is said to be between 60 to 90 days.
McEwen said it’s seeking a 2% increase to get funding faster.
“We would love to utilize more vouchers so that we can receive more funding from HUD and assist as many families possible,” McEwen said.
Anderson explained that both family size and income determine the vouchers. The payment is prorated between the tenant and Section 8, with the money going directly to the landlord.
“We would pay a percentage of that,” Anderson said. “The tenants would have to pay the remaining balance.”
When Washington cut funding for the program in 2013, McEwen had to reduce voucher use and close the waiting list, making assisting families already on vouchers difficult.
One main problem that McEwen and Anderson said hinders the program in Paducah is the need for more available space. McEwen said this is an issue it’s always had, and it’s in need of landlords willing to take a chance on the program.
“It’s just like renting to other families in our community,” McEwen said. “The only difference is you would receive some funding from our housing program; we don’t put a number on how many houses we need because that’s limitless.”
• The commission approved a municipal order authorizing the city manager to issue a request for bids for a pour-in-place rubber surface as part of the playground improvements at Robert Coleman Park, according to the city.
• The commission also approved a municipal order authorizing an agreement with Paxton Park Golf Course with the city providing $100,000 for this fiscal year to support operations and maintenance of the municipal golf course, according to the city.