Officials say Lexington’s historic budget covers social needs and addresses employee pay.

WEKU | By Stu Johnson

The chair of the Lexington City Council’s budget committee says a historic budget will work to help address the needs of the most vulnerable. The Council gave final approval last week to the $507 million spending plan. It’s the largest budget in the city’s history by almost $38 million.

Councilmember James Brown Jan. 15, 2019. Photo by Amy Wallot

Councilman James Brown said the Council added to the mayor’s budget.

“I think we’re still coming out of the pandemic. I think the future looks bright. Our revenues are up, but I think there are still a lot of folks in this community that still need some help and I think that’s reflected in the budget that we passed,” said Brown.

In the affordable housing arena, Brown said that effort will get a further boost with plans to set aside 1% of revenues toward building these units. The at-large Council Member said that amounts to an additional $5 million next year.

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton said a 5% pay raise for most city employees addresses more than one issue. That pay hike was included in the budget as well. Gorton said the city can’t keep up with the private sector in salaries, but this is a step forward.

“It is partly to retain employees but as well as it is to help keep us at a level with our peers,” said Gorton.

The second-term mayor noted increasing revenues will allow city leaders to move forward with the process for a new city hall as well as constructing a second senior center. The therapeutic center is planned for a location in Shillito Park.

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Photo by Stu Johnson, WEKU.

Republished with permission.