Final list of ARPA funding: Money for housing, parks

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Posted at 7:39 PM, Mar 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 19:43:28-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — They've been working on approving projects since the summer, now the Lexington Fayette Urban County government has a final list for how they'll spend $121 million in federal coronavirus relief money.

The final list can be found below:

The full council approved the remaining project proposals in 11 categories: parks, infrastructure, capital investment, environment, social services, city services, grants to outside agencies, arts, worker bonuses, economic recovery, and housing.

A good chunk- $20 million will be spent on community health, wellness, and quality of life projects like parks.

Each park across the city will get something from new courts to trails, maintenance, and playgrounds. The city will spend $10 million to build a new park, Cardinal Run North, which has been in the works for a while."

"We wanted to make sure that we were investing in our city pools so that all of our community can enjoy pools this summer. We had a lot of deferred maintenance that we made sure we wanted to address so that all of our park amenities are accessible to everybody. It's also community centers that were in disrepair that we really needed to work towards," said councilmember Whitney Baxter.

Another big spending category is homelessness and affordable housing programs. The city is dishing out $30 million in total, something Mayor Linda Gorton says is critical.

The rest of the money is going into several different pots like $1 million for the Village Branch Library, $17 million bonus for city employees, and $1.3 million for various youth violence intervention projects.

When you look at what the community asked for based on a city-wide survey, the priorities pretty much align. In the survey, 3,287 responded. Of that number the most voted for was community health and wellness projects.

"It was challenging because honestly, I think all of the proposals that we got and the input that we received were positive, and if we could, I think it would be amazing to be able to fund all of those projects. But unfortunately, we had to pick and choose," said council member Jennifer Reynolds.

The list needs to pass through Council first and second reading. The first reading will be at this Thursday’s Council meeting.