Lexington city leaders are discussing modifications to Mayor Jim Gray’s recommended budget for next year. One issue brought up during Thursday’s Council Committee meeting was the need and cost of a new shelter for the city’s police dogs.
City Chief Administrative Officer Sally Hamilton says the high strung expensive dogs are living in a rundown facility. She says a new shelter site has been suggested on government property off Frankfort Pike. “I think that they’ll probably use sort of a not a prefabbed, but a pre-designed building, nothing complicated in there. And I think we’ll have it in the next year,” said Hamilton.
Code Enforcement Director Ken Armstrong, who worked in law enforcement for years, said the 15 to 20 drug sniffing dogs are used every day and currently housed in the existing shelter.
Lexington council members are debating whether to use just over a half million dollars from a parking authority account to help pay for a new shelter for police canines. City officials have been working on the matter for the last three years.
The Parking Authority is responsible for running and maintaining downtown garages. Authority Chair Jim Frazier asked council members to consider keeping those monies available for parking needs. “You all know we’re having issues with security. We’ve had to go and hire off duty police officers to patrol these garages, primarily the transit garage where most of employees of the government park,” said Frazier.
No final decision on appropriating money for the canine facility has been made.