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Nearly all of Lexington's ARPA money has been assigned for use

Stu Johnson

Lexington city leaders have been updated on the allocation of federal coronavirus recovery dollars. American Rescue Plan Project Manager Jenifer Wuorenmaa reported $119 million of the total $121 million has been assigned. She said 15 projects have been completed or substantially complete. Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton said the city’s approach has attracted national attention. Vice Mayor Steve Kay agrees.

“We made our decisions. We set up a process. We’ve started allocating the money. We’re getting it out on the street and a lot of communities are still trying to figure out what to do,” said Kay.

On the list of completed or substantially complete items are employee pay supplements, economic development grants, and projects at the Lyric Theater and Explorium Children’s Museum. Some 58 park improvements are also included in the ARPA funding.

The Lexington City Council is moving forward with more than $6 million in American Rescue Plan Act money for non-profit organizations. Social Services Commissioner Kacy Allen-Bryant updated Council members this week. The funds can go to cover facility and operational needs. Allen-Bryant said 45 projects from 23 agencies are on the recommended list.

“First of all they’ll be able to accomplish much-needed projects that they’ve probably been putting on the back burner. And then, also, it will help them free up more money to serve their populations in their programs.”

The Council took preliminary action Tuesday to approve boosting the total allocations by more than $418 thousand. Allen-Bryant noted the money must be spent by the end of April in 2024. She added the hope is to see funds going out to non-profits by the end of October.

Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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