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Lexington Officials Waiting to Hear from Feds on Park Funding


Lexington city officials are expecting to hear in September if they’ll receive a federal grant to help with a much talked about downtown park project.  The money would add $13 million toward construction of the Town Branch Commons linear park.  Mayoral Chief of Staff Jamie Emmons said Tuesday during a council work session that even if Lexington doesn’t secure the grant, plans for the project are likely to remain the same.  “No I don’t think there’s any scaling down of the project," Emmons said. "I think this project is all or nothing essentially.  But, if we don’t get the TIGER grant, it’s not the end of the world.  We can reapply next year and hopefully use the same exact sort of application."

“TIGER Grant” refers to the federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery funding. 

If necessary, Emmons says a reapplication for the grant may call for more of a local commitment.  “There are things we can do in the interim to potentially tee up a more successful grant application," Emmons explained. "That might mean we need to spend some money on the local level to show the federal government that we’re serious about the commitment and that we’re ready to go next year through that application process."

The overall cost for the Town Branch Commons Park is about $75 million.   The Bluegrass Community Foundation is helping with efforts to raise $50 million in private funds. Council member Jennifer Mossotti expressed concern on Tuesday about allocating $180,000 in city money to go toward fundraising.?

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