PED Plans Next Steps in PACRO Admin Takeover

Sep 3, 2013

Chad Chancellor and the Paducah Economic Development are poised to step in as the new Paducah Area Community Reuse Organization administrator after a unanimous subcommittee vote Tuesday at the Commerce Center in Paducah.

The vote comes a week late after a PACRO subcommittee and the board broke a series of Kentucky Open Meetings and Open Records Laws, which rendered last week's meetings void.

PED is slated to takeover responsibilities by October 1.

Chancellor's first priority is to have the board hire Fluor Engineering to conduct a site reuse study, which he expects will happen at the special board meeting on Thursday. Chancellor said he receives several requests for proposals a year for companies looking to co-locate onto an existing infrastructure.

"We want to see a reuse plan put in place where when that RFP that came in last week or two weeks ago comes through for 300 jobs we actually know, 'Can we give them steam? Can we give them sewer? Can we give them rail?'" Chancellor said. "You know, right now we don't know that."

Project costs played a large role in today's decision, as PED committed to using interest off loans to pay for administrator costs, compared to McCracken County's proposal, which required a set cost of $165,000.

"This protects principle," said Chancellor. "We don't ever have to worry about PACRO going broke from this moment on, because we'll assure you we'll never touch it without the board telling us to or having some kind of a vote."

Charlie Martin, a former United States Enrichment Corporation site manager at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant,  is on staff at the PED thanks to funding from the commonwealth of Kentucky, according to Chancellor.

Martin will educate and assist the new administrator hired by PED, with no cost to PACRO.

"I think the main issue is to move forward because time is not a friend to any of us with what's going on out there," Martin said. "It's going to take some time and a lot of effort to get some of these things changed around."

Chancellor, who has been critical of the PACRO board in the past, submitted a similar proposal in late 2012, but continued to receive resistance until PACRO Chairman Jerry Hoover's resignation came in August.