Gov. Beshear attends groundbreaking for City Block Project; announces more than $8.9M in awards for McCracken Co.

Work to revamp a city block in Downtown Paducah is officially underway. Ky. Governor Andy Beshear joined city leaders for a groundbreaking ceremony
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 7:45 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2023 at 6:26 PM CST
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PADUCAH, Ky. (KFVS) - Governor Andy Beshear was in Paducah on Friday, January 27.

Beshear joined city leaders to participate in a groundbreaking ceremony for Paducah’s City Block Project.

“This new City Block will be in the heart of Paducah. It’s going to support tourism in the area, provide great experiences for local families, and generate even more economic growth in Western Kentucky,” Governor Andy Beshear said. “We’re not just talking about building a better Kentucky, we’re doing it, and projects like these will have a positive impact for generations to come.”

The first phase of the project includes an 81-room boutique hotel along Jefferson Street with restaurant space and a roof-top bar along with public amenities including green space, public promenades, and approximately 150 public parking spaces.

Construction on the first phase of the project will begin the week of January 30. Hotel construction will begin by early spring.

It’s expected to open in spring 2024.

City leaders say the second phase of the project will include constructing a mixed-use building on Broadway with retail space and upper-story living.

Before the groundbreaking, the governor toured an education hub for high schoolers and made funding announcements.

He toured the Paducah Innovation Hub and spoke with educators.

The hub gives high school students from Paducah, McCracken County, Graves County and Livingston County an immersive experience in technology, trades, health care, river industry and more.

Gov. Beshear then visited the Paducah McCracken County Senior Center where he announced more than $8.9 million in awards for the county’s Cleaner Water Program projects, tourism marketing, community development and local nonprofits.

“McCracken County is a destination loved by Kentuckians and travelers alike, and we’re making investments to ensure this Western Kentucky community sees ongoing success for generations to come,” Governor Beshear said. “From delivering clean water – a basic human right – to supporting tourism, nonprofits and more, today’s investments are going to help create that brighter future our families deserve.”

Cleaner Water Program

The governor announced $4.1 million in Cleaner Water Program funds will be awarded to projects in McCracken County.

Paducah McCracken County Joint Sewer Agency:

  • $947,000 to rehabilitate existing sewer main in fiscal 2024
  • $946,827 to rehabilitate existing sewer main in fiscal 2025
  • $225,000 to upgrade the JSA’s Facility Plan, which is necessary to upgrade the Woodlawn Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • $177,500 for manhole repairs in the JSA system in 2023
  • $177,500 for manhole repairs in the JSA system in 2024

Paducah Water

  • $1 million to make improvements to the water treatment facility
  • $575,000 to improve two water storage tanks
  • $60,000 to help with the incorporation of the former West McCracken Water District’s infrastructure into Paducah Water’s hydraulic model

Community Development Block Grant

The city of Paducah was awarded $1 million in Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus Response funds to help the city, along with the Paducah-McCracken County Senior Center, build a new senior center in Paducah.

Delta Regional Authority Award

The DRA announced $1.7 million in federal funds will be awarded to the JSA.

According to the governor’s office, this will connect the new Barkley Regional Airport terminal and 20 homes to public sewer infrastructure. The funding comes from the DRA’s Capital Infrastructure Fund.

Tourism Marketing Funding

Governor Beshear awarded $565,297 to the Paducah Convention and Visitors Bureau to support travel marketing and promotion.

The funding is part of the $75 million American Rescue Plan Act funding announced by the governor in July.

“Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau is delighted to receive a portion of the ARPA funds designated for tourism development by Gov. Beshear. Plans are already in place to utilize these funds toward creative marketing initiatives that will bring new visitors to the area,” said Mary Hammond, executive director of Paducah Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Paducah looks forward to working with other tourism offices, regionally and statewide, on multijurisdictional projects made possible by ARPA funding, which will create new tours and trails throughout the commonwealth.”

Nonprofit Assistance Fund

The governor also announced seven awards from his Nonprofit Assistance Fund, which helps organizations across Kentucky recover from the effects of the pandemic.

According to the governor’s office, this fund provides one-time direct relief payments.