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Lexington city leaders hear support for a parks tax

Lexington Council Members Heard From Citizens on Parks Referendum
Stu Johnson
Lexington Council Members Heard From Citizens on Parks Referendum

A proposed new property tax levy in Lexington got some vocal support from several residents during Tuesday’s Council Work Session. Council members are being asked to place a 2.25 cent per 100 dollars land value tax before voters this November. It would go to support parks improvements. Several people spoke on the issue. One of those was Fayette Alliance Director Brittany Roethemeier.

 “Investment in our urban greenspaces helps mitigate the negative impacts of urban development like air pollution, heat islands, and stormwater runoffs. Parks create more vibrant and walkable neighborhoods, help reduce traffic congestion, and connect neighborhoods and communities to each other and to other areas,” said Roethemeier.

Caitlyn Walsh of the Fifth Council District said parks provide physical and mental health benefits and well-maintained parks attract businesses.

David Lowe chairs the Sustainable Funding Subcommittee of the Parks Advisory Board. Lowe noted a dedicated funding source is needed to address park needs, including 36 sites in neighborhoods. Lowe added the parks' master plan outlines the strategy.

“So, all the homework’s done. We have all the projects, over 400 remaining in the pipe. We just have to solve for the money problem and the referendum is the perfect way to solve for the money problem into the future and for truly generational impact,” said Lowe.

Parks Advisory Board Chair Victoria Meyer said the focus is on existing parks. Meyer said buying in bulk and planning ahead is fiscally responsible and avoids borrowing, which is the route taken by some cities. A final vote before the full Council is pending.

 Here's more with David Lowe and Victoria Meyer:

4DAVIDVICTORIA.mp3

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