Lexington Mayor’s budget includes major investments in public safety

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lexington’s Mayor Jim Gray has proposed his budget for next year.

“We all know that cities have opportunities and cities have challenges and that’s what this budget represents,” said Mayor Gray.  “We want to seize the opportunities that we have and we want to get ahead of the challenges and that’s what this is all about.”

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The $358 million proposal focuses on public safety.

“Public safety is always the top priority in our city budget and everyone in the city I talk to says it’s a top priority for them,” said Mayor Gray.  “This year public safety is 54% of the General Fund budget.”

“While Lexington remains one of the safest cities of its size in America, we know that doesn’t mean a lot if it’s your neighborhood that has been hit with crime of any type. The bottom line is simple: it’s our job to do all we can to help prevent crime. That’s what we’ve done, and it’s what we will do.”

A new sector of the police department is proposed along with more officers.

The proposed budget also cuts back on government operating expenses and supports city projects that will create jobs.

Quality of life is also important to the mayor so he’s planning to make the downtown area more accessible and attractive with projects like the Town Branch Commons and a new Convention Center.

The Urban County Council can make changes to this budget until June 30th when the final budget is due.

Watch the video to see the Lexington Police Chief react to the majority of the budget going to public safety.