Lexington to consider selling buildings to generate cash

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – An Urban County Council subcommittee in Lexington is recommending the city consider selling three buildings after a review of all city-owned property, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The report says the three targeted properties are:

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-ArtsPlace, 161 North Mill Street

-Morton House, 530 N. Limestone Street in Duncan Park

-Old Fire Station #2, 415 East New Circle Road

The subcommittee recommended the city talk to LexArts about buying the Mill Street property, which Fayette County Property Valuation Administration records show is assessed at $1.8 million, according to the report.  The director of communications for LexArts told the newspaper the arts group non-profit has been in discussions with the city about buying the building.  ArtsPlace is home to other arts organizations, including the Lexington Philharmonic, Lexington Chamber Chorale, Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra and Lexington Ballet.  The weekly syndicated Red Barn Radio hour originates from ArtsPlace.  The building also has artist studios and office space.

Morton House in Duncan Park is leased by The Nest, a non-profit that serves families and children.  The property is assessed at $900,000, according to the report.  The executive director of The Nest told the Herald-Leader he had not been approached by the city about buying the building.  Citing notes from the subcommittee meeting, the report says federal grants could be used to help The Nest purchase the property.

The former fire station on East New Circle Road is used by the fire department for storage and is home to the community paramedicine program that connects frequent ambulance users with primary care or other services, according to the report.  The building hasn’t been used as a working fire station since 2017 when the city built a new fire station on Eastland Drive.

The newspaper report says the city will look at other buildings and property in the coming months to determine the best use.

The report says a city parks advisory committee is being asked to evaluate some park properties as well.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.