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Lexington ARPA funds process nearing an end

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They started last year with over a thousand project proposals, but Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council members have narrowed it down and given initial approval to a plan for 121 million in federal pandemic relief dollars. WUKY’s Arlo Barnette reports.

"Does anyone have a drum? I want to do a drum roll." [laughter]
Lexington Vice Mayor and Council Member At-Large Steve Kay

That was Vice Mayor Steve Kay when council voted, after months of debate, to approve the list of projects that must use Lexington’s American Rescue Plan Act money by 2026.

Over $38 million was already allocated ahead of Thursday's Committee of the Whole meeting for things including bonus pay for city employees, affordable housing projects, and tourism.

As CivicLex reports, about $73 million in new allocations included $9.5 million for infrastructure for the city's economic development land at Coldstream Park, $1.3 million for youth violence intervention programs, $1 million to go toward the building of a new Village Branch library on Versailles Road, and $6 million for LFUCG social services and external nonprofit agencies.

$2.5 million would go toward renovating the Pam Miller Downtown Arts Center once the city gains ownership of the building from the state, and $4 million would create a permanent home for the Lexington Farmers' Market in the Davis Bottom area if a funding match is secured.

Each of the proposed projects still needs additional approval from the council. A full list of the projects and their status can be found here.

The spending plan would leave $1.5 million ARPA funds remaining.