Lexington council restores funding for shelters, housing, sets up business grant program

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — The city is restoring some $6 million in funding to housing and social service agencies and to set up a loan program to help small businesses hit hard by the coronavirus-prompted economic slowdown.

The decisions came Tuesday as the Lexington Urban Council worked on Mayor LInda Gorton’s 2020-21 budget plan that takes effect July 1.

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The Council will have its first official reading on the $379 million spending plan June 9.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, the council decided to tap into $6.4 million from the city’s rainy day funds for the programs for the next fiscal year beginning July 1.

The newspaper says the city will then replenish the rainy day fund with federal reimbursements for expenses the city has had for coronovirus-related expenses ranging from buying PPEs to cleaning buildings.

The city will be eligible for up to $25 million in reimbursements and during the last two months, has has about $5 million in expenses, according to the Herald-Leader.

During Tuesday’s session, set up the $2.5 million grant program for small businesses. Details of how it will work will be hashed out later, the newspaper said.

The council decided to tap $6.4 million from its rainy day funds for the programs in the next fiscal year that begins July 1. The city will then replenish those rainy day funds with up to $25 million in reimbursements from federal stimulus funds for COVID-19 related expenses.

The $6.4 million includes restoring $1.8 million to fund 800 housing units and $2.1 million for shelters for women and children, food banks and other social service programs, according to the newspaper.

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Christy Bollinger joined the ABC 36 news team as a reporter in March 2018. Christy comes from a little western Kentucky town called Cadiz. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 2017 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology. Christy is thrilled to be working at her dream job in her home state. She is passionate about storytelling and you can see her weekdays on ABC 36 News at 5 and 6 p.m. She's covered everything from visits from the sitting president and vice president, to high-profile murder cases. When not chasing stories, Christy loves nothing more than being at the beach and says life is just better with sand between your toes and waves crashing at your feet. She is also a big animal lover. She's a fur momma and her mini-Australian Shepherd, Milly, standard Australian Shepherd, Bennie, and her Maine Coon, Cheeto, are the loves of her life. Christy encourages you to send her any story ideas you may have. Find her on Facebook at Christy Bollinger ABC 36, tweet her @ChristyB_news, or email her at CBollinger@wtvq.com.