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Lexington council backs solar panel project to reduce gentrification

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Lexington TV-screen shot
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Left to right-Lexington Vice Mayor Steve Kay-Council Member Chuck Ellinger

Lexington city council members have made preliminary decisions regarding more than $60 million in federal coronavirus relief funding. Council has held a number of sessions to discuss and act on community projects.

Prior to consideration of any specific items Tuesday, Council Member Richard Moloney said news about a new COVID variant should make the governing body cautious in spending American Rescue Plan Act money. “We did not expect what we have seen in the last week, that another one of these things are popping up and it is affecting everybody across the United States and the world and they are concerned,” said Moloney.

Vice Mayor Steve Kay won Council backing for spending $5.6 million in low-income neighborhoods in addressing gentrification concerns. The money would go for installation of solar panels and weatherization for some 200 homes. Kay said the money saved in utility costs would help offset increased property taxes where new development has occurred. “They’re not faced with an increase in their tax bill that they cannot afford to pay. It’s offset by the savings in energy efficiency,” explained Kay.

Kay said this project would also work to reduce the carbon footprint in Lexington. He envisions the solar paneled homes to be found in a number of neighborhoods. Council continues to work through a list of requested projects. Kay noted a final vote on millions of American Rescue Plan Act dollars is expected before Council goes on Christmas break.

Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 30 years.
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