Lexington in the black, with $3.8M budget surplus

Posted at 2:35 PM, Nov 13, 2019

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — It wasn't easy to get there, but Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton was happy to discuss how they did it.

"We cut the budget," Gorton said at the Downtown Arts Center after unveiling a rendition of the monument that Lexington will add to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

"We encumbered money early on, we did not hire people," Gorton said. "That is money saved because of those efforts."

A good portion of the $3.8 million surplus will be put back into the city based on several of the recommendations Gorton made to her city council members. Improvements should be coming to the Fayette County Detention Center and the Children's Museum. And city employees, whose salaries were frozen, will reap some of the benefits too.

"The bonus that they get doesn't add to their base, but it allows them to experience some value for the work they're doing with fewer employees," said Gorton.

Councilwoman Jennifer Mossotti talked about using the additional money coming to District 9 towards finishing Shillito Park, while District 12 councilwoman Kathy Plomis discussed the possibility of launching a big road project to help her constituents. Gorton said she voted twice against using surplus money for individual district projects during her tenure as a councilwoman, but understands why many feel it necessary now.

"...A lot of the council members felt, with the budget cuts, they weren't able to do projects in their districts, which is true. So it'll all work out," she said.

Other by products of the surplus include the ability to pay towards the pension stabilization fund, and satisfying the city's bond raters.

"[They] think it's a great thing!" said Gorton.