The Paducah City Commission has approved an ordinance to pay approximately $136,000 to the Kentucky Aquatic Resources Fund for the relocation of mussels impacted by previous riverfront development.
The payment complies with terms of a 2012 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Biological Opinion, and allows the city to receive permits for further development.
The city first learned of the endangered mussels in 2009, three years after the riverfront project was originally planned.
City Engineer Rick Murphy says the funds will restore the ecosystem these mussels live in, satisfying both his town and concerned environmental groups.
“If you want to call it a win-win, it is a win-win. But. I think both parties would've liked to have not had to go through the circumstance or the scenario, because it is very costly,” Murphy said.
Relocating these mussels originally cost $400,000, but moving the riverfront project downstream brought expenses to $136,000. But, new engineering costs from the shift means most of the original total will still be spent.
“The biggest portion of satisfying the regulatory environmental process is behind us now. Now, it's more about bricks and mortar and constructing the project,” Murphy said.