LFUCG: American Rescue Plan Act funds almost final

Posted at 10:02 PM, Dec 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-06 06:35:18-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — For the past few months, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government has worked to narrow down how to spend millions in federal COVID relief money.

The federal government gave Lexington $120 million. They've already spent nearly $8 million on this year's budget.

So far, the council approved spending $38.5 million on things like bonus pay for city employees who worked during the pandemic, affordable housing projects, tourism, and more.

Here's the rough breakdown:
$17.9 million bonus pay for city employees
$10 million affordable housing projects
$1 million tourism
$375,000 sheriff's office bonuses
$7.9 million 2022 budget
$1.4 million covid-19 winter shelter
$30,000 broadband

"Now we're in that second-tier process of saying, 'okay, now there's lots of really good investments and projects out there and programs. How do we then prioritize the money that we have left? How do we work through that list?" said councilmember Amanda Mays Bledsoe.

There are still a lot of project ideas that they must decide on.

"The administration is gonna take some time and look at it and then bring it back to council and then we're going to have to make some decisions and that list is going to have to continue to pare down as we move forward," said Bledsoe.

CivilLex is a non-profit non-partisan organization working to make sure the community stays in the loop with the city's progress.

"The council administration and staff worked so hard to try and make that information available, but like, it's just really hard. I think it's been great to be able to bring it all into one place and use all the resources we have and make it accessible and easy to click through within a font that people can understand," said Kit Anderson with CivilLex.

Anderson says she thinks the council is on the right track.

"I think that there's been a really strong emphasis on public input, starting with that survey," said Anderson. "The council really genuinely cares what the public has to say. And they want to find things that people use and people care about. Honestly, the main thing is just making sure that they know that."