The Paducah Planning Commission met Monday evening to discuss a proposal for a Huck’s convenience store that would be located at the corner of Alben Barkley Drive and Friendship Road. Formerly the Guy Gray Supply Company location, the proposed service station would reside across the street form WKCTC, Ceglinski Animal Clinic, and next door to LOTUS Children’s Advocacy and Sexual Violence Resource Center.
At a previous meeting, the commission asked the developers Martin & Bailey, Inc. to perform a traffic study of the area. As of this meeting, the traffic study hadn’t been completed.
At last night's virtual meeting, there were several local residents and a LOTUS representative on hand. Each wanted to discuss the negative impact a large service station would have on the area.
Representatives of Martin & Bailey weren’t on the call. Acknowledgment of the missing participants wouldn’t be discovered until later in the conversation.
One of the neighborhood residents against the project is Jill Love. Her home is located behind the proposed Huck’s service station. She said that because Huck’s would be operating 24 hours a day, “they (Huck's) want to be able to accommodate trucks causing more havoc on our environment, and our peace, and our quiet.” Love continued, “A 24-hour Huck’s doesn’t fit the neighborhood.”
Lotus Executive Director Lori Brown said the center has spent millions over the past three years expanding their services that include an outdoor sanctuary project funded by a state grant. Many of the clients at LOTUS have PTSD and loud noises can trigger events. LOTUS started a petition more than a week ago, “Save our sanctuary: Stop the proposed Huck’s Food and Fuel Station.” The petition is on Change.org.
On the petition, the opening statement reads:
The proposed Huck's Food and Fuel Station at the intersection of Alben Barkley Drive and Friendship Road in Paducah, Kentucky will have a negative impact on the quality of life of residents and clients of Lotus Children's Advocacy and Sexual Violence Resource Center, which is located adjacent to the proposed site for the gas station. We need your help in ensuring a sanctuary of safety, comfort, and healing for countless survivors and families in this community now and for years to come!
As mentioned, representatives for the Huck’s service station weren’t online for this particular Paducah Planning Commission meeting. Interestingly, Huck’s funds a charity for children called Karing for Kids. Huck’s charitable foundation gives annually to children in need. One of their projects is to give kids a great Christmas by buying gifts for those who might not otherwise receive one. Other charitable gift giving includes children cancer treatments, backpack programs, and St. Jude scholarships.
At Monday’s meeting, Paul Bradford, Paducah Planning Commissioner, motioned to remove the proposed project from the table and the motion passed in a 4 - 3 vote. As soon as it was discovered that Huck’s representatives weren’t on the call, the matter was moved back on the table. Bradford said he would like to have them on the next call because he wants it to be removed from the table with or without the traffic study.
The plan is to revisit the issue at the next meeting on February 15.