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Lexington Mayor unveils budget plan for FY21 during COVID-19 challenges

Posted at 10:35 AM, Apr 28, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton unveiled her budget for fiscal year 2021 Tuesday.

Mayor Gorton announced that no one in city government is happy with the budget proposal, but went on to say that this is a crisis budget.

Over 18,200 people in the Lexington-Fayette County area filed first-time unemployment claims since the outbreak of COVID-19.

Mayor Gorton announced that the FY20 budget has had a shortfall of $9 million dollars since the COVID-19 outbreak, and the FY21 budget has a shortfall of $40 million dollars. In Tuesday's press conference, Mayor Gorton announced that the proposed budget puts Lexington in a position to fight back and will not have to claim bankruptcy.

The proposed budget shows a projected 10% decrease in general revenue and no tax increase. Mayor Gorton says that there will be no layoffs of permanent employees and no new positions will be funded.

Mayor Gorton says that her team took a strategic approach to cutbacks when creating the budget.

She says that in the coming months, the city will maintain focus on workforce development.

Mayor Gorton announced the creation of an economic response committee. The mayor will co-chair this committee with Luther Deaton, the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Central Bank. This committee will be made up of leaders across different sectors of Lexington's economy, as well as council members. The committee will take a broad look at the economy, and get Lexington roaring back.

"We will face this head on, charge forward and we will emerge stronger than ever," said Mayor Gorton.

You can find Mayor Gorton's entire budget by clicking here.