LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — After the City of Lexington recieved $120 million in funds through the federal American Rescue Plan Act, Mayor Linda Gorton allowed members of the community to submit ideas on how the city should use the funds.
Earlier today, Mayor Gorton released her proposals for dozens of projects and investments using these finds. She said the funding is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for the City, and the City is taking full advantage of it.
“We can address current pressing needs, and invest in a bright future,” said Gorton.
Gorton, who held four public meetings to gather ideas, thanked citizens who submitted ideas.
“They really helped me identify their priorities,” she said.
The Mayor also thanked members of the Urban County Council.
“Unlike a lot of cities, we are working together to develop a spending plan that wisely invests this money to meet current and future needs,” Gorton said.
The proposed projects and investments:
- Help those who are most in need of help right now
- $5 million rental assistance reserve
- $3 million in COVID 19/public health assistance
- $350,000 to support the work of the Safety Net violence prevention program (over 3 years)
- $6 million in capital infrastructure funds for community partners who provide critical services such as violence prevention and intervention, mental and physical trauma support, addiction recovery, and homelessness
- $240,000 to expand mentoring programs ($80,000 per year)
- Invest in long-term economic growth to ensure good jobs for future generations
- $17.5 million for infrastructure at Coldstream Research Campus economic development park
- $2.25 million ($750,000/year) to develop ag-tech industry, capitalize on the momentum generated by the AgTech Steering Committee (Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Alltech and the City)
- $5 million to create the Center for Economic Development to support business and provide workforce training
- $1 million to support tourism industry, hard hit by pandemic
- Improve quality of life
- $10 million to fund proposals in Parks and Recreation Master plan including new trails, new playgrounds, new sports courts and community center and pool improvements
- $10 million for funds to develop Cardinal Run North featuring a sports complex
- $10 million for affordable housing
- $250,000 to increase tree canopy
- Make smart budgeting investments to save money and avoid debt
- $4.5 million to support essential purchases in government without creating long term debt including funds for general government and public safety fleet, cybersecurity, salt barn, and police annex and headquarters
- $1.5 million to fund Homelessness Prevention and Intervention for the next two fiscal years
- $920,000 to expand summer youth employment programs for the next two fiscal years
- $10 million to reward employees who have worked on the front lines throughout the pandemic and to retain employees who provide essential services in a highly competitive job market