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Gray Gives 2016 Budget Address


Lexington Mayor Jim Gray unveiled his proposed 2016 city budget in a speech Tuesday at Council.

The draft budget will consist of $324 million in spending and reallocation of $10.4 million in surplus funds.  Gray characterized it as a mixture of improving basic services, fiscal responsibility, and keeping Lexington competitive.

“What we’re proposing with this budget is that we address our basic services, fundamental services; police, fire, public safety, as well as our infrastructure needs such as paving across the city, and then we go beyond that to address quality of life," he said.

He proposed $10 million for city paving, as well as almost $12 million for public safety, including funds to complete a combined 911 center.  Notable quality of life improvements include $22 million to renovate the old courthouse, $1 million toward the Newtown Campus of Bluegrass Community and Technical College, $10 million for the Town Branch Commons, and $1.9 million for a variety of parks projects.  Gray also announced a $116 million drop in the city’s unfunded pension liability, annual savings of $12 million in employee health insurance, and a 3% pay raise for non-union city employees.  More information on the proposed budget can be found at Lexingtonky.gov.

Chase Cavanaugh first got on the air as a volunteer reader for Central Kentucky Radio Eye, a local news service for the visually impaired. He began reporting for WUKY in February 2012, after receiving his Master’s degree from the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce.