Gray focuses on youth in surplus spending proposal

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Lexingt on Mayor Jim Gray

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – With the Urban County Council set to begin its deliberations Thursday on how to spend a surplus from the budget year that ended June 30, Mayor Jim Gray today proposed a variety of investments with a special emphasis on young people.

“Our public schools are facing some real challenges, including an achievement gap that is unacceptable to all of us,” Gray said. “We’ve worked hard to improve our city’s financial management and to find ways to be more efficient so we can afford important investments. I’m asking the Council to increase the city’s investment in our youth with funding for programs that will help them get off to a good start so they are prepared for good jobs.”

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Gray proposed Opportunity Grants including:

  • $90,000 for a tutoring program to be coordinated by the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, but offered in schools;
  • $90,000 for the Urban League’s YES program, which works to knock down barriers to degree attainment including academic preparation, cost and college support, while also working to deter youth violence;
  • $10,000 for National PTA Family Engagement Training, a program that gives parents and parent-leaders tools to become actively involved in their children’s education; and
  • $90,000 for God’s Pantry, which serves 69,000 people in Fayette County. Good nutrition is essential to learning.

In addition, the Mayor proposed investments in basics, including:

  • $76,000 for snow removal equipment to clear sidewalks;
  • $650,000 for Idle Hour Park improvements, complementing construction of the Senior Citizens Center; and
  • Funds to repair the Government Center garage.