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"We're not done." Council to revisit ARPA funding in January

Josh James

Urban County Council moved quickly on some items in the week leading up to Winter break, including the adoption of a new district map for Lexington. But there’s still much work to be done when it comes to allocating federal pandemic relief money.

"What we have now is some projects that have been fully approved, and we have some projects which are on a list of tentative approval for further discussion, and, as always, additional motions will always be in order. So if there are items that people have not proposed, or they want to propose them differently, or whatever--and we may also be in the business of modifying that big list because we don't have enough money--but in any case, the main point I want to make, especially for the public, is that we're not done. The doors are open for additional motions for funding from the ARPA."

    Vice Mayor Steve Kay said at Thursday’s Committee of the Whole meeting that the doors are open for additional motions for American Rescue Plan Act funding. Lexington Chief Administrative Officer Sally Hamilton said with just over $121 million in ARPA funds available, the current list of projects calls for about $70 million more.

"We will give you a list that we think is totally ARPA-related, that really qualifies all for ARPA, and then several projects otherwise and then other sources to fund these projects. We will look at budget stabilization, we will look at bonding . . . What we will do is to give you a framework, and then you can either throw this all out, or say 'I don't like this, let's do it a certain way." This is just going to take us a while to work through."

City administrators will submit the framework to the council during a Committee of the Whole meeting scheduled for January 13th.

Council members voted to allot more money toward efforts to end homelessness in Thursday’s meeting. Earlier in the week, they agreed to sell ArtsPlace on North Mill Street to the nonprofit LexArts in an effort mitigate the city’s maintenance and overhead costs. A condition of sale was that the building must be used to house community arts programs for 10 years.

Council also voted to adopt a new district map on Tuesday, as reported by the Lexington Herald-Leader. Two members of the redistricting committee are now considering running for a council district seat.


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