Lexington’s Urban County Council passes budget

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lexington’s Urban County Council on Thursday passed a $323 million budget for the city’s new fiscal year that begins July 1, according to the city.

The council made only minor changes to Mayor Jim Gray’s proposed budget.  Mayor Gray has 10 days to line-item veto any part of the budget.  It takes nine council members to override a mayoral veto.

The changes the council made to Gray’s budget include increasing the raise for most city employees from 3-to-4 percent.  Also, increasing the minimum wage for city workers from the federal minimum of $7.25 to $8.20 an hour.

The council also added $2.4 million for paving neighborhood roads.  The total amount in the road paving category is $10 million. 

Here are other highlights from the budget:

-Borrowing $58 million, which includes $22 million to overhaul the old courthouse and $11 million for Town Branch Commons, which is a proposed 2-mile linear downtown park.

-$1 million for Bluegrass Community & Technical College – Newtown Campus expansion 

-$750,000 to study the relocation of City Hall


$10 million for road paving

$160,000 for traffic signal at intersection of I-75 and Man o’ War Blvd

Funding to continue planning for Gigabit City initiative

Public Safety

Funding for 10 new police officers

$2.5 million for new police vehicles

Funding for police body cameras

$2.8 million for new fire vehicles

$1.5 million to upgrade jail management system technology

$5.2 million to complete the Public Safety Operations Center

Community & Social Services

$3 million for social services partner agencies (25% dedicated to emergency shelter funding)

Creation of new Substance Abuse Violence Intervention Office, with focus on heroin addiction

$2.75 million for initiatives in the offices of Affordable Housing and Homelessness Prevention

Operating funds for new Senior Citizens Center at Idle Hour Park

Parks & Recreation

$250,000 for development of a Parks Master Plan

Funding for study of new multi-use sports complex

$1.9 million for parks projects, including: o Woodland Park playground

Veterans Park playground

Tennis courts at Ecton Park

Tennis courts at Southland Park

Concession stand and restrooms at Martin Luther King Park

Restrooms at Lansdowne-Merrick Park

Highlands Park trail

Valley Park skate pad

Douglass Park landscaping and court improvements



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