Lexington Community News – November 2020
Legacy Trail finishes final phase
The final leg of Legacy Trail, Lexington’s longest trail, was completed in October. A ribbon cutting was held to honor the completion featuring Mayor Gorton, Councilmembers James Brown and Chuck Ellinger, and Lisa Adkins, President/CEO of the Blue Grass Community Foundation.
The 12-mile-long trail, which has been more than a decade long project, connects the East End of Lexington to the Kentucky Horse Park.
Potential Parking Lot Paradise
Lexington Third District council member Jake Gibbs died earlier this spring at the age of 66. Wife Anita Courtney has organized a fundraising effort for “Jake’s Garden” at Sav’s Restaurant on Main, welcoming donations of time, plants, and financial contributions.
In the GoFundMe page, she writes, “We’d love donations of labor and if you’d like to contribute some of your garden perennials to Jake’s Garden, look for the list of plants included in the garden design that will be posted in the Spring. Jake knew Lexington could be so much more than it is. He so wanted our city to be innovative, environmentally cherished and covered by beautiful green spaces. You can participate in making Jake’s vision a reality by contributing to this one-of-a-kind neighborhood spot on Lexington’s Main Street. And you’ll be able to say that you…made paradise, tore up a parking lot.”
Governor Andy Beshear announced $8.5 million in transportation funding to replace transit buses and support efforts to expand reliable and sustainable transportation in Kentucky. Lextran was awarded $1.5 million of those funds to replace six older diesel buses with four new natural gas and two all-electric buses.
911 Director of the Year
Robert Stack, the Director of Lexington’s Division of Enhanced 911, recently was named 911 Director of the Year by the Kentucky Emergency Number Association and the Kentucky Chapter of the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials.
Lexington’s female Fire Chief to retire
Lexington Fire Chief Kristin Chilton announced that she plans to retire in January. Chilton is a 28-year veteran of the Lexington fire department, and one of a handful of women fire chiefs in the U.S.
Hensley named new Finance Commissioner
Mayor Linda Gorton named Erin Hensley as Lexington’s new Finance Commissioner. Hensley has spent the last 10 years at the Community Action Council, where she most recently served as Chief Financial Officer.
“Every day in finance brings new challenges and new opportunities to positively impact the community,” Hensley said.
The finance commissioner oversees the Divisions of Accounting, Budgeting, Purchasing and Revenue. Hensley succeeds Bill O’Mara, who retired.
JA of the Bluegrass announces new President
Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass announced Laurel R. Martin will succeed Lynn Hudgins, who retired as President after 22 years. Martin brings more than ten years of nonprofit experience and over 27 years in higher education through administrative and faculty positions at both private and public higher education institutions.
Kentucky’s 2021 Teacher of the Year
Donnie Piercey, a fifth-grade teacher at Stonewall Elementary, has been named the 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year.
Dress for Success Lexington to dissolve
Dress for Success Lexington announced its dissolution in October: “Our hearts are heavy. We are so incredibly proud of the work we have done in this community and the lives we have changed. To the women we have served: continue to shine like the bright stars you are — you are beautiful, talented and worthy — keep moving! Thank you, Lexington. We are grateful.”
Board President Sarah Lim C. Berkowitz says, “Together, we are so proud of the life-changing women’s movement Dress for Success Lexington has led in our community. The COVID-19 pandemic is creating an evolving situation with varied repercussions, and nonprofits are at the forefront of this disruption.”
STREETS, ROADS, AND TRAFFIC
Construction on Euclid Avenue finishes early
The two-mile-long sanitary sewer project along Euclid Avenue, originally slated to be completed by December 2021, finished over a year early. The project, running from Oliver Lewis Way to Tates Creek Road, installed a new sewer pipe required under a federal consent decree to improve the City’s water quality and increase sewer capacity for future growth.
Final phase of Clays Mill Road widening project
The final and most difficult phase of widening Clays Mill Road has begun. This last phase, between Waco Road and Harrodsburg Road, will widen Clays Mill Road from two to three lanes, install new curbs and gutters, make safety improvements, create new bike lanes, plant over 250 trees, and upgrade traffic signals.
When complete, approximately four miles of roadway will have been widened. The new center turn lane will greatly reduce vehicle congestion by eliminating mid-block traffic stoppages while a car waits to turn left.
Work on this section will begin in the next few weeks, but two-way traffic will be maintained through construction. This final phase is expected to be completed by November 2022.
Water Main on Winchester Road
Kentucky American Water has begun a water main improvement project in Lexington on Winchester Road between Hume Road and Man O War Boulevard. The project, which will total approximately $1.1 million in investment, involves upgrading one-and-a-half miles of water main installed in the 1950s. The new water lines will better accommodate recent and future development in the eastern part of Fayette County.
The project is expected to have minimal traffic impact since construction will be off the roadway, but motorists are still encouraged to be extra cautious when traveling through the work zone for their own safety and for the safety of those working on the project.
This water main improvement project is among approximately $8 million worth of efforts approved this year by the Kentucky Public Service Commission for Kentucky American Water’s new Qualified Infrastructure Program (QIP). QIP projects are paid for with the QIP fees collected through customers’ monthly water bills. The fee associated with this year’s program will add $.36 to the average monthly residential bill.
This article also appears on page 8 and 9 of the November 2020 print edition of ace magazine lex.
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