Lexington Council members are seeking more information about costs associated with hiring consultants. It surfaced during a discussion Tuesday at city hall. A request for a 50 thousand dollar consultant fee sparked a larger debate. The money is for advice sought on the creation of an office for homeless services. In the end, the Council asked for a report on money spent on consultants during the last three years.
Council members argue security at entrances to Lexington city hall should be tightened.
A review of security at Lexington’s government buildings is underway. General Services Commissioner Jamshid Baradaran says police patrols and video cameras protect some 25 city-owned buildings. Baradaran says it will likely take time to develop security recommendations.
Lexington leaders are still working on a plan to spend surplus funds. There's a lot more money than they first anticipated. Council members first considered setting aside specific amounts for each member...who would then decide how it's spent. After dropping that idea, Council decided to pool the money and prioritize projects. Tuesday, the Budget and Finance Committee briefly reviewed dozens of proposals submitted by council members and the mayor.
Domestic partner benefits for city employees are winning strong support at Lexington city hall. Members of the General Government Committee today unanimously backed a motion for a draft ordinance. Council member Steve Kay chairs the panel.
Lexington officials Monday opened the first extension of the Brighton East Trail, Fayette County's first rail trail. The one-mile extension takes the trail along an old railroad bed into the country as far as Walnut Grove Road.
Credit Tom Eblen / Lexington Herald Leader
The system of recreational trails in central Kentucky is growing by another mile. Lexington officials today celebrated the extension of the Brighton East Rail Trail. The 12-foot wide trail, with serves pedestrians and cyclists, now runs from Bryant Road to Walnut Grove Lane. Project Manager Keith Lovan says the region’s trail system is increasingly interconnected.
Lexington City leaders will again try to decide how to spend over two million dollars in surplus funds. The third time may be a charm. Council has twice delayed action, but a final vote is scheduled for Tuesday. As initially proposed, the money would be divided evenly among council members, who each would decide how it's spent. Now, a revised proposal has the entire council setting priorities for that pool of money.
Several social service agencies plus Lexington government will benefit from the settlement of a lawsuit filed by state attorneys-general against mortgage lenders. They were accused of unfairly foreclosing on thousands of homes during the recession.
The creation of a waterfront park in downtown Lexington could also improve water quality in Town Branch Creek. There are plans to resurrect the subterranean stream, which runs beneath the downtown area, and create a park. Landscape architect Kate Orff says a park’s vegetation would remove contaminants from the creek.
The creation of a public mural on a wall adjacent to City Hall has been presented to Lexington’s council. Danny Mayer, who publishes a community newspaper, says the proposal is the compilation of ideas submitted by Lexington residents.
Citizens get a chance Wednesday afternoon to comment on the revitalization in and around Rupp Arena. Architects for the Rupp Arena and Town Branch Trail projects will be on hand for the two hour program. Communications Director for Lexington’s mayor, Susan Straub says their primary aim is to gather the thoughts of local residents.
A downtown landmark in Lexington is back in the spot it occupied for 80 years on Main Street. During preparations for the World Equestrian Games, the Skuller’s Street Clock was removed for repairs. After the needed funds were raised, the clock was refurbished by the Verdin and Company of Cincinnati. Tommy Verdin’s family has managed the business for six generations.
Major sewer work starts over the next five years on a heavily traveled roadway near the University of Kentucky. It’s part of a $600-million sewer upgrade required by the federal government. Water Quality Division Director Charlie Martin says they will replace a sewer pipe which runs along Euclid Avenue, between Upper Street and Tates Creek Road.
Lexington leaders like their colleagues in governments across the state, searching for a way to cope with the decline of hard-wired telephones. Those phones were the basis of 911 systems that summoned police and firefighters.
New management at the Bluegrass Area Development District is trying to ease any concerns which may have come from the forced resignation of its former director. Speaking today to Lexington council members, the district’s interim director says a state investigation into possible misconduct continues. Council member Chris Ford attended the meeting.
Mike Razor, Executive Director of Enforcement with ABC, outside a Lexington watering hole.
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News
Drunken college students are almost as common on campus as football games and Saturday night parties. The penalties for the providers and abusers of alcohol are tough, but some young people now pursue drunkenness with a new intensity.
The front entrance to the Lorillard Lofts, 201 Price Rd., in Lexington, Ky., Thursday, July 25, 2013. Homeless advocates want to turn the bankrupt Lorillard Lofts into a center that provides homeless services, healthcare and housing.
Credit Charles Bertram / Lexington Herald Leader
Efforts to turn an unsuccessful condo complex into a housing and service center for Lexington’s homeless residents continue. The Lorillard Lofts just off West Main Street sits less than half full. Several years ago, the one time tobacco warehouse was converted into condos. Both developers and the city hoped to attract young professionals downtown. Instead, the complex could soon serve Lexington’s street people.
UK researchers found a link between affordable, decent housing and safe public transportation.
Credit Keith Reed / Flickr, Creative Commons
A new funding formula for Lexington’s social service agencies is in the works. Millions of tax dollars go to organizations that provide services on behalf of the city. They provide assistance in areas like housing, employment, and health care. Social Services Commissioner Beth Mills believes a clear formula with specific requirements and a firm deadline creates a level playing field for all agencies seeking city funds.
Lexington city leaders will again consider domestic partner benefits for the city’s workforce. Benefits for same-sex partners and unmarried couples were last considered in 2003, when they were rejected by council. Vice Mayor Linda Gorton made the motion Tuesday that resurrected the benefits.
After months of discussion, Lexington city leaders have decided on a location for a new senior citizens center. The Council voted Tuesday to construct a facility on a portion of the Idle Hour Park off Richmond road. Chief Administrative Officer Sally Hamilton says it could be finished within two years.
Lexington's working to convert abandoned distilleries such as this one into entertainment, dining and drinking establishments.
Credit Travis Estell / Flickr, Creative Commons
Lexington’s city council hopes to accelerate progress in its new downtown distillery district. Lexington’s new distillery district, located along Manchester Street, already features a number of entertainment, arts, and cultural attractions. Still, some council member worry the pace of development is too slow. So, a council committee urged the city to accelerate work on the Town Branch Trail. Vice Mayor Linda Gorton says the foot-and-bike path should be extended into the distillery district as soon as possible.
WEKU's Stu Johnson reports Council presses for easier access to distillery district.
A year after they gathered for a big sesquicentennial celebration, re-enactors return this weekend to Richmond Battlefield Park. The Civil War Battle of Richmond was fought in August of 1862. Battlefield superintendent Phillip Seyfrit admits last year’sreenactment will be tough to top.
Three major sewer projects get underway in Lexington within the next few weeks. Residents in the Century Hills neighborhood will see upgrades near Pimlico Parkway. Mark York, who’s with the City’s Division of Environmental Policy, says a second sanitary sewer project could complicate traffic along a major Lexington artery.
Lexington's street lights are funded by property taxes and a franchise fee levied on utilities.
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News
Beginning this fall, utility customers in Lexington can expect slightly higher bills. For months, Lexington’s Council has wrestled over the best way to pay for street lights. Administrators say the property tax does not generate enough revenue for maintenance and new lights.
WEKU's Stu Johnson found practitioners want more restrictions on texting-while-driving.
Regardless of age, Kentuckians seem willing to accept tougher penalties for people who both text and drive. The state Wednesday made it easier to revoke the licenses of repeat offenders. Current state law prohibits sending text messages by a vehicle’s operator. This week, through executive order, the Governor made the revocation of a driver’s license easier. If they get enough points, the license is revoked. Lexington’s Curtis Gentry agrees with a stiffer approach.
A grand jury has indicted a Richmond, Ky., couple on various charges including murder in connection with the discovery of a child's body in southwest Ohio. The indictments against 26-year-old Whitney Johnson and 25-year-old Nathan Ritze include child endangerment and abuse of a corpse charges.
An inmate at Lexington’s Blackburn Correctional Complex says working with horses gets one ‘out of the prison state of mind.’ Anthony Smith says that’s what he likes about the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s program. It allows inmates to work with horses. The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation focuses on taking care of retired racehorses, many who are not suited to new careers as riding or pleasure horses.