Urban Council adds $3 million to budget, trying to make most of positive cash situation

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lexington is in a historic situation of having money available like never before.

And Tuesday, the Urban County Council began looking at more always to make the most of that situation.Council members added $3,578,896 in expenditures to the city’s proposed budget during more than four hours of review.
Tuesday’s meeting marked the Council first in-person meeting since the pandemic set in last year.
The additions include everything from $1.2 million for a ladder truck for the fire department to new positions to ambulances and a new police substation.The Council tentatively took the additional expenses from its $23.9 million budget stabilization fund.
But as the numbers become firmer, the changes could come from surplus funds or even federal stimulus dollars. The city already has guidelines for $61 million in federal dollars and many of the projects could be paid with that money.
The city expects another $61 million. Those funds must be obligated by December 2024 and spent by December 2026.
The Council will meet again Thursday to continue reviewing the numbers.
The budget, which now tops more than $400 million in expenses, will be finalized June 15.
It takes effect July 1.
As a side note, the Council tabled for more discussion a proposal for a $40 million sportsplex to be paid for from federal stimulus money
Supporters say the project could become another tourism attraction for the city as well as a major quality-of-life investment for residents.
But they acknowledge more study and public relations work must be done with the community to build on a 2015 study that at the time, came close to funding a similar project.
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