The federally funded group tasked with mitigating the effects of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant’s closure blocked the press from accessing much of its public meeting Wednesday as the committee members listened to two proposals about the organization’s administrative future.
PACRO board members didn’t cite a specific statute related to Kentucky’s Open Meetings Law when removing members of the media, which the law requires. The board also didn’t issue a public agenda for the meeting, also required by law.
Following the meeting WKMS determined through interviews that the Greater Paducah Economic Development Council (GPEDC) and the McCracken County Fiscal Court both submitted proposals to run the administrative side of the organization.
GPEDC President Chad Chancellor’s proposal comes after repeated criticism of the PACRO’s previous work. GPEDC President Chad Chancellor says his priorities for assuming administrative responsibilities include only using monies accrued from interest from PACRO issued loans to fund administrative costs, establishing a reuse plan for the plant site and selling DOE site assets that serve no purpose, and using that revenue to spur economic growth.
GPEDC’s proposal comes on the heels of PACRO Chairman Jerry Hoover’s resignation.
McCracken County Fiscal Court has been considering taking over PACRO for weeks. At Wednesday’s meeting Judge Executive Van Newberry said the court would require $165,000 annually to cover expenses for hiring a full-time administrator and clerical personnel that would receive a regular audit and use monies gained from DOE asset sales to spur economic growth.
Both organizations declined to provide their proposals to the press prior to Thursday’s executive committee meeting where the committee is expected to choose one of the two proposals.