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Lexington mayor offers annual state of government speech to business leaders

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Stu Johnson
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Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton says the local government has one and only one focus, meeting the needs of 325,000 people. During her annual State of the Government Address on Tuesday, the mayor told hundreds at Central Bank Center, quote, “it’s that simple and that complicated.” Gorton talked about issues like public safety, affordable housing, parks, and economic development. Gorton said the city’s one-stop shop program is expanding.

“Starting this March, Open Counter will allow employers and others considering a construction project in Lexington to look virtually at the available property and its zoning, the permits needed, and almost every other aspect of the development process,” said Gorton.

Gorton, who’s just entering her second term as mayor, said overall, the Lexington economy is thriving, with unemployment at just over 3%. She spoke about the 200-acre Legacy Business Park at Coldstream, which is projected to provide jobs for some 21 hundred people.

The mayor spoke about public safety and expansion of license reading cameras and grant support to hire 21 new firefighters.

She said the city just got news of a million dollars from the state for furthering ag-tech efforts. Gorton added the city’s economy is thriving with low unemployment.

Eighth District Councilman Fred Brown, with 22 years at City Hall, is the longest-serving member. He said the end of federal COVID support will likely mean some belt-tightening.

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“We’ll have to spend less money coming forward because the budgets going to be trimmed down somewhat because we don’t have that additional revenue,” said Brown.

The mayor’s office is working currently to develop budget recommendations. Council members will take up the budget this spring and vote in June.

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