LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Mayor Jim Grey started on a positive note this morning, in his 2016 State of the City address at the Bluegrass Ballroom, Lexington Center.
The event started with a rundown of Lexington’s history, and the positive progress our city is making: Unemployment is at a historical low, Lexington is creating 1/3 of the state’s new businesses, home sales are up 22% and foreclosures are down 18%.
Mayor Grey also announced plans for Lexington to become a Gigabit City – or, a city where high-speed internet is accessible everywhere – and that a team is already actively working on a broadband project.
He also covered how the local government is being run, explaining their health insurance policies, plans for city water and sanitation, and investments into public safety.
54% of the budget this year is being spent in public safety, said Mayor Grey, an increase of 22% over the past five years. This means new police officers, firefighters, and communication equipment between the fire and police departments, to seamlessly work together even in the remote corners of the county.
Officer Jervis Middleton was wearing one of several body cameras that the police force has been testing over the past few months during the address. Mayor Grey said they expect a decision to be made soon – and the cameras to be in-use by late summer of 2016.
The entire address included touchstones in parks and recreation, rural development, paving more streets, and the progress of the Office of Homelessness.
Just before closing, Grey discussed a future investment for economic development – building a new Lexington Convention Center.