Lexington City Council

Stu Johnson

An attorney representing union officers at the Fayette County jail told Lexington officials that high overtime, racial and sexual harassment, and worries about guard safety remain pressing issues at the Lexington facility.

Lexington Changing Discrimination Filing Process

Jan 14, 2020

Lexington’s city council is moving forward with changing a city ordinance on discrimination complaints.  The matter got committee approval Tuesday.  It still needs to go before the entire council for its consideration. 

Vice Mayor Steve Kay said the requested modification is tied to the State Supreme Court ruling this past fall in the Hands On Originals T-Shirt Company case.  The state’s highest court ruled in favor of the business which refused to print a T-shirt for the 2012 Pride Festival.  One of the owners said the message conflicted with his religious beliefs.

Fayette Jail To Undergo Assessment

Dec 9, 2019

Lexington’s city council is moving forward with an assessment of the Fayette County jail.  The timeline for the review was moved up upon the advice of a committee chair.


Lexington city leaders are exploring a new funding process for economic development.  A city council committee this week looked at a revised strategy to attract jobs to the bluegrass community.

Stu Johnson

Despite a tight budget, Lexington city council has reallocated funds to cover a pay raise for the city’s garbage truck drivers. 

All city employees with commercial driver’s licenses will see the salary supplement.

The  $1 per hour pay raise for workers with a commercial drivers license in waste management, streets and roads, parks and recreation, and other departments is for six months from January through June.  The initial proposal saw $96,000 coming from cuts in government departments. 


Lexington officials are preparing for colder weather and the snow that comes with it. Central Kentucky already had some early season snowfall this month, with about an inch on the ground. 

Lexington Environmental Quality and Public Works Commissioner Nancy Albright outlined this year’s snow removal strategy to a council committee this week.  Albright said new this year is a citywide emphasis on pre-wetting salt.


Lexington officials are beefing up their efforts to keep roadways clear of snow this winter by opening a second salt storage barn.

The new salt barn, a wooden structure which measures 80 feet by 152 feet, holds about 7,000 tons of salt.  The combined storage capacity of the two barns is expected to be able to shelter all of the salt needed for a typical winter. 


Lexington needs five more fire departments over five years although finding land can be a challenge.

Lexington Fire Chief Kristin Chilton offered a five year plan to a council committee last week. It included information on capital construction, personnel, and fire equipment. Chilton said more effort should go toward understanding housing developement in the county.

She said the department should be aware when planning begins and establish land suitable for a fire station. Now, she said, the department often scrambles to find land after houses are in place. 

Lexington Considering Revising "Party Plan"

Nov 14, 2019

Third District Council Member Jake Gibbs has asked the city to review the 18-year-old party plan. 

The current plan to reduce rowdy celebrations relies heavily on criminal convictions. Police Special Operations Commander Thomas Curtsinger said the new approach includes civil penalties.

“It doesn’t require convictions to trigger actions against the landlord," he said. That, he said, will allow officers to deal directly with the situation at hand. 


The use of electric scooters in Lexington is being reviewed following a fatal accident last week. 

Timothy Freeman, 35, died after a crash on Richmond Road Nov. 4.  Shared electric scooters became available in Lexington the week before


Lexington city council will hear from Fayette County jail officials before making any decision about spending money to investigate concerns.  Union representatives at the detention center have cited problems with overcrowding, employee safety, and morale.

Council Member Jennifer Mossotti got backing to hold a hearing in January before spending $40,000 for an outside consultant and marketing tied to recruitment. “So I think it’s important that we hear from some of those members and staff from the jail before we go ahead and deal with a consultant,” said Mossotti.


Hundreds of electric scooters have been buzzing around Lexington streets for over a week now in an effort to increase shared transportation.  The  Lexington City Council continues to evaluate the newest arrival to city traffic.

Lexington Council Facing Decisions On Budget

Oct 30, 2019

Lexington City Council members are working toward making decisions about spending just over $2 million  in unassigned revenue.  Chief of Staff Tyler Scott outlined the administration's recommendations to the budget committee Tuesday. 

Scott said the city has had to make some tough choices to free up that $2 million. He said budget reductions were implemented right after the mayor came into office in January. 

Stu Johnson

A ground breaking ceremony this morning in northwest Lexington recognized the start of development for 96 units of affordable housing for seniors.  The Oasis at Kearney Creek is expected to open in the spring of 2021.


Lexington city leaders are examining the effects of spending constraints.  Last weeks’ review included a high-profile city service affecting most everyone in town.

The location and timing of new asphalt, also referred to as pavement management, came before the council’s Environmental Quality and Public Works Committee.  About $8 million dollars was included in the current budget for paving, down from almost twice that a few years ago.  Council Member Jennifer Mossotti told Public Works Commissioner Nancy Albright it’s a challenging situation. 

Lexington Adds Signs To Slow Speeders

Oct 28, 2019
Stu Johnon

The city of Lexington is adding speed feedback signs.  A review of the traffic strategy came last week before a council committee. 

Traffic Engineer Manager Roger Mulvaney said 30 permanent electronic signs displaying speeds of vehicles are positioned throughout the city. “The neighbors feel that there’s a positive message conveyed to drivers to slow down and the neighbors see more brake lights and they feel that something is being done about speeding in their neighborhoods,” said Mulvaney


A major sewer line project in Lexington is expected to disrupt traffic significantly in a two mile area near the University of Kentucky.  Work is scheduled to begin in late January and take about two years to complete.


Monday is the start of Lexington’s shared mobility program with electric scooters. Hundreds of e-scooters are expected t0 be available at docking sites all over downtown and near the University of Kentucky campus this week.


A Lexington city council committee has approved a proposal to boost commercial driver’s license supplemental pay for government employees.  The unanimous vote Tuesday comes in response to concerns from waste management workers. 

Vice Mayor Steve Kay offered the amendment on the pay issue. “A minimum impact on the general fund.  A maximum impact on people in waste management, and the question of hazardous duty remains on the table but we’re not committing to it at this point,” said Kay.


A Lexington city council member wants more information about how U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE works with the Fayette County jail.  The matter has been sent to a committee for review.


The director of Lexington’s enhanced 911 emergency call program outlined staffing issues to a city council committee this week.  Emergency calls for help have increased significantly over the past two decades.

Enhanced 911 Director Robert Stack said there are currently 10 vacancies in a 75 person department.  Dspite the staffing issues, he noted more than 98% of emergency calls are answered within ten seconds.  But Stack said growing cell phone usage is creating challenges.

Stu Johnson

The Lexington city council is considering additional regulations for short-term housing rentals.  A draft ordinance got a going over Tuesday by members of the Planning and Public Safety Committee.

Committee members heard from several Airbnb participants.  Most like Kathy Burke said regulation is okay as long as it’s not more strenuous than other similar rental services.

“I will tell you that I would rather live in my Airbnb than my own house because there’s no clutter, it’s clean, my lawn is cut.  My neighbors love us,” said Burke.


Dry conditions across central Kentucky have led to a greater number of leaves falling off trees in September.  Lexington’s leaf collection program is scheduled to begin the first week of November. 

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