On Tuesday, May 26, Mayor Linda Gorton held a press conference to discuss where the money from the Federal Relief Fund will go.
Right now, Lexington does not know which expenses will qualify as virus-related expenses. “Even so, I felt it was clear to establish priorities now,” said Gorton.
- Funding for the social service agencies the City has supported in the past
- The mayor still continues to raise private dollars for these agencies through her “Mayor’s Fund for the Greater Good” initiative
- Providing funds for affordable housing and those who are experiencing homelessness
- Replenishing the City’s Rainy Day Fund
In April, the Mayor had to propose cuts to the City budget that “hurt people who are in need of our help” because of plummeting City revenue, and mounting COVID-related expenses.
These priorities for the Federal Relief Fund is set on the community needs, and some on the City’s financial stability. “It’s important to do both, provide for criticial services, and ensure our City remains on a sustainable path financially,” Gorton said. “These are needs I could not fund in my proposed budget because of our funding shortfall.”
Due to COVID-19, the budget had lost $40 million.
The Urban-County Council will ultimately vote on how to spend the federal dollars and will continue to debate and consider amendments to the Mayor’s proposed budget. The Council is expected to ratify the budget on June 9 and will go into effect on July 1.
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