Lexington Mayor Jim Gray touched on a number of topics in his annual address to Rotarians Thursday.
That included numerous updates on high profile projects.
Saying 15,000 new jobs have come to the community over the last six years, Mayor Gray says more people are employed today than ever.
Among the projects he highlighted was the downtown convention center project. Work is slated to start early next year.
“The convention center is one of the most significant public investments that’s ever been made in Lexington, equivalent in terms of today’s value to what the original convention center and Rupp Arena were almost 40 years ago,” said Gray.
The mayor’s speech wasn’t all about bricks and mortar. Gray said the jobs van program, linking homeless persons with work, has helped to reduce panhandling.
Gray once again thanked the Lexington Cemetery Board for agreeing to accept two Confederate statues for placement in the historic cemetery.
“It was not an easy decision for them. They found themselves in the midst of turbulence over a problem they didn’t create,” explained Gray. “But, in the end, they recognize that it makes sense to move the statues to Lexington Cemetery.”
The mayor told Rotarians the city will host a two-day meeting in October examining economic development similarities of six university cities including Ann Arbor, Madison, Raleigh- Durham and Lexington.