Hearings give residents chance for input on $120 million in federal funds

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Want to tell the City how you think Lexington should spend the $120 million it is receiving from the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act?

OK, here’s how.

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Mayor Linda Gorton has organized four community meetings where citizens can offer their ideas and suggestions.

“We hope you will join us,” Gorton said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we need to hear from citizens as we consider various plans.”

Meetings are set for:

  • 5:30-7 PM, Wednesday, Aug 11, Beaumont Centre Family YMCA, 3150 Beaumont Centre Circle
  • 11:30 AM- 12:30 PM, Friday, Aug 13, Zoom (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88256174404?pwd=R1ZPaElleGdsQVQ1blRrdngvdjVQQT09  / Webinar ID: 882 5617 4404 / Passcode: 670915)
  • 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM, Thursday, Aug 19, Eastside Branch, Lexington Public Library, 3000 Blake James Drive
  • 6-7:30 PM, Monday, Aug 23, Northside YMCA, 381 W. Loudon Ave.

“The Urban County Council and administration worked together to craft a transparent process that starts with extensive public input through an on-line survey, public meetings and appearances at neighborhood gatherings,” Gorton said.

Councilmembers are also hosting meetings.

There is an on-line survey for those who prefer to submit their preferences electronically. Citizens who have a project they would like to submit for consideration can enter them here.

The survey and idea submission form are available through Aug. 27.

To inform the community, and to focus the community conversation, the Council and Mayor have worked together on a description of categories for possible projects and set of priorities and principles for funding.

These are posted on the City’s American Rescue Plan Act website.

  • Top priority are projects that would have a direct impact on vulnerable populations, and projects that would help people most severely affected by the pandemic.
  • Next, projects that are budget-related, produce savings or increased revenue, and are one-time projects that have no ongoing costs.
  • Finally, listed as additional principles are projects that lead to economic opportunity, projects that have an impact on physical infrastructure, and projects that have an impact on social infrastructure.

All projects would also have to meet federal requirements.