A stalled Paducah riverfront project is being revitalized thanks to more than a million dollars in state funds.
For months, the Paducah Riverfront Development Authority has struggled to bring costs down on a project renovating the water’s edge of Shultz Park.
The estimated $8.1 million project includes adding a transient fueling dock, sidewalks and lighting around the park.
But contractor bids repeatedly came more than a million over budget, leaving the PRDA to request guidance from the city commission. But now, a $1,525,000 state grant, presented Monday by Governor Steve Beshear, will help complete the funding. He says the money was raised by matching state general funds with what was left over of a federal riverfront project grant.
"I'm hopeful that this investment will give the impetus Paducah needs to build on what it's already done and kinda get it across the finish line," said Beshear. "Let's get this riverfront done.
"Paducah is a lot different than when I grew up," said Beshear. "It was kinda a sleepy, lazy river town back then, now it is a vibrant place. Young professionals are here, the downtown is back, all of the artists are downtown, all of the activities in the evening and daytime. And that's what makes a city, the vitality and the vibrancy that it needs to be successful, and that's just where Paducah is right now. As we capitalize on this riverfront, I think you'll see downtown Paducah grow even more."
Pederson says the state's investment is proof of the importance of Paducah tourism.
“Paducah is the gateway to Kentucky from Illinois and parts of Missouri," said Pederson. "So anything that we have in Paducah that is a catalyst to people coming here or an inducement to people staying is good for the region and good for the state.”
Pederson says the city commission has already approved full funding for the project to get started.