Lexington City Council

Explorium Director Makes Case For Restoring Funding

Sep 12, 2019

The executive director of Lexington’s children’s museum says several steps are being taken to increase visitor numbers and raise additional revenues.  Lee Ellen Martin offered an update this week to members of the city council’s General Government and Social Services Committee in making a case to restore some $41,000 in government funding.

Martin noted summer attendance is up 5% over last year.  In addition she says the admission price was raised a dollar, contributions are up, and the museum is renting out birthday activity items.


The city of Lexington is looking to collect more tax revenues from short term housing rental platforms operating in the central Kentucky. The first step came during Tuesday’s work session at city hall.

Lexington Close To Having An Official Flower

Sep 11, 2019

It’s not finalized, but it looks very likely that the Purple Coneflower is about to become Lexington’s official flower.  Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton Tuesday announced results of community voting.

Stu Johnson

It may have looked like sand on a hot sunny day in Lexington, but it was a pile of salt city officials were shoveling Tuesday to kick off the construction of the city’s second salt barn.  The new storage facility, to be built next to the West Hickman Wastewater Treatment Plant in south Lexington, is expected to be ready by November. 

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton participated in the “salt shoveling.” “This is a big deal for Fayette County.  We are all very calm about this and quiet, but this is a huge deal when it comes to serving our citizens,” said Gorton.


Lexington city council reviewed photos Wednesday of a nearly complete office-residential-retail development in the heart of downtown. The project is 10 years in the making. 

Stu Johnson

Efforts are moving forward to honor the contributions of women throughout Lexington’s history with a monument. An event Monday focused on a future home for such a symbol in Downtown.


A group of senior citizens in Lexington has brought its environmental concerns to city hall.  A few members of Richmond Place’s so-called Green Team recently attended the council’s Environmental Quality and Public Works Committee. 

Sonia Kragh said one of the biggest concerns centers on the use of Styrofoam containers at the retirement facility. “It will affect all the people into the future.  The more Styrofoam that’s put everywhere the less land there is,” said Kragh

Stu Johnson

A public meeting focusing on neighborhoods in transition attracted  well over a hundred people Thursday night in Lexington.  The often cited term “gentrification” appeared to be on the minds of many participants.


Another urban trail is seeing foot traffic in Lexington.  This stretch is found within one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods.

Meadowthorpe Park, on Lexington’s west side of town, now has a 1/3 mile walking trail.   Meadowthorpe Neighborhood Association President Jamie Rodgers said there is a long legacy of neighborhood led initiatives.  He says the Meadowthorpe Committee provided the equipment, supplies, and labor for the development of the playground and fields. 

Stu Johnson

Lexington city leaders continue to examine compensation issues for division of waste management workers.  Members of the city council’s General Government and Social Services Committee heard a report Tuesday on hazardous duty and commercial driver’s license supplemental pay.

Stu Johnson

Lexington’s city council appears ready to increase the property tax rate to support streetlight service.  The 15 member governing body opted not to raise the general service property tax rate.

Council To Consider Property Tax Rates Tuesday

Aug 12, 2019

As tradition has it, the Lexington city council will come out of its summer break with a taxing matter to address. 

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton said “on Tuesday, the first day council is back, they will have to decide on the tax rates for next year.  Their very first day back.  So, it’s setting the property tax rates for next year.


Fayette County’s historic courthouse continues to evolve. From serving justice to a museum to hosting retail shops the courthouse has served many purposes over many years.  The last judicial use came in 2002 while full retail offerings didn’t come until 2018.


A&W Restaurants Incorporated is expected to be the first company locating in Lexington’s new industrial park near Interstate 75.  The city has 50 acres shovel ready in UK Coldstream Research Campus. 

A&W will be relocating their global headquarters and moving some 35 jobs to the new site.  Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton is optimistic this is only the start of business growth at the industrial site. “I don’t think we would be in this business doing this if we weren’t," she said.

Stu Johnson

A Lexington council committee is endorsing existing standard operating procedures for the cleaning up of homeless camps on public property.  A representative from Louisville appeared before the General Government and Social Services Committee Tuesday to explain that city’s 21-day notice policy. 


The Lexington city council is moving forward with work to complete the Newtown Pike Extension Project.  The last leg runs from Oliver Lewis Way to Scott Street off of Limestone. 


Lexington’s Planning and Public Safety Committee has adopted a regional land use resolution.  The effort, spearheaded by Bluegrass Tomorrow, included 140 representatives from 18 central Kentucky counties. 

Council Members Worried About Budget Constraints

Jul 3, 2019
Stu Johnson

Some Lexington city council members are expressing frustrations over funding constraints in the newly enacted budget. 

Council Member Fred Brown said future improvements in city parks and repaving priorities are laid out in structured plans.  But, the veteran councilman said mandates are hard to keep without sufficient dollars. “We’ve got a plan out there that requires maintenance money and capital money and we are not funding that plan.  We all do well and good and set up these plans.  But, if we don’t fund these plans, we’re falling short,” said Brown.

E-Scooters Likely To Be In Lexington This Summer

Jun 23, 2019

The Lexington city council has approved a shared mobility vehicle ordinance.  The council vote means electric scooters could be in selected locations around the downtown and the University of Kentucky by August.

Stu Johnson

A recycling consulting firm has been hired to assist Lexington officials in establishing new, long-term recycling strategies.  That review will include investigating a move for a private entity to operate the city’s recycling center. 

A portion of Weku's Stu Johnson's interview with Tyler Scott:

Lexington Council To Review Home Vacation Rentals

Jun 17, 2019

Lexington’s city council is expected to review short- term house rental programs in the coming months. The issue has been placed in the council’s Planning and Public Safety Committee.

Fifth District Councilman Bill Farmer believes issues related to programs like Airbnb, Vacation Rental By Owner and HomeAway need more scrutiny.  

The veteran council member said he’s getting comments from citizens about increased activity in residential neighborhoods.


A special state prosecutor has been named to look into possible campaign finance violations involving an executive at a Lexington development company.  

CRM Executive Timothy Wayne Wellman was indicted last week on federal charges, accused of lying to federal investigators and instructing contributors to lie about contributions to Lexington council members.  

Attorney General spokesperson Crystal Staley said a letter went out to Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Thomas Wine in mid-March to look at Wellman's actions.


Lexington council members are being asked to adopt sign ordinance amendments and modify certain zone change procedures.  Citizens will be able to weigh in on both subjects at separate public hearings on June 27th. 

Lexington Herald-Leader

The attorney representing a Lexington real estate company owner indicted over a proposal to relocate city hall in the local newspaper’s building said his client looks forward to defending himself in court.


The Lexington Herald-Leader reports an owner of a real estate company faces multiple federal charges related to a proposal to move city hall to the Herald Leader’s downtown building. The allegations are that straw contributors were used to make contributions to council members.  The case also involves accusations of lying to federal investigators.

bird rideshare electric scooters

Lexington city leaders continue to wrestle with regulations for the anticipated onset of electric scooters. Proponents say putting a licensing framework in place will help to reduce problems seen in larger cities.

Several amendments to the ‘draft shared mobility vehicles ordinance’ gained council approval.  One requires e-scooter companies to retrieve inoperable two-wheelers in public right of ways within two hours. 

City Pedestrian and Cycling Coordinator Scott Thompson expects firms to respond to complaints. “They hire out people to rebalance and retrieve the vehicles and they want to get those back and they do not want to sour the community on those and that’s part of the reason we’re making certain requirements,” said Thompson.

Lexington Council Irons Out Budget Modifications

May 29, 2019

Lexington council members have worked their way through a number of budget decisions for the 2019 fiscal year which begins in July. Final approval will come over the next couple of weeks.


Lexington’s children’s museum, the Explorium, is drawing close to three decades of providing hands-on,  thought-provoking exhibits for young visitors.  But sustainable funding has been a challenge, even with city support.  Tight financial times have caused council members to reduce funding to the Explorium by $75,000. 

Museum Director Lee Ellen Martin said it’s a seasonal attraction with often a peak of activity in July but a lull in the fall.


Lexington council members covered a variety of traffic related issues during a committee meeting Tuesday. One item talked about often involves motorists running through red lights. 


Lexington council members are working on developing an ordinance to pave the way for electronic scooters along with pedal assisted bikes this summer.  Members of the Planning Committee were briefed on the Shared Mobility Vehicles proposal Tuesday.

Several members expressed interest in making modifications.  That included Seventh District Council Member Preston Worley. “I was recently in Washington D.C.  You got people on scooters going 25 miles an hour, flying down the sidewalk in the national mall.  We want to make sure that’s not how you do it,” said Worley.