Council To Decide How To Spend $2M Surplus

Sep 26, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Thursday the Urban County Council will decide how $2M in surplus funds should be spent.

For now, council members appear split over whether to divide the money up for district or citywide projects or keep all the revenue in the city’s General Fund.

Lexington city leaders are weighing their options when it comes to the extra funds, which only represent a fraction of the city’s total surplus of $7.6M. Some would like to see the money deposited in the city’s rainy-day fund, while others, such as Councilman Chris Ford, would prefer to divide the funds among all 15 council members for projects in their respective districts, giving each $150,000.

If the council votes to divvy up the funds, some members say they would likely put the money toward improving public safety concerns like the Reynolds Road roundabout, while others would invest it in the city's streets, trails and parks.

But critics say the focus should be on Lexington’s debt, which has swollen to $315M, and reducing that obligation should be a top priority.

Jennifer Scutchfield, one of the four council members who voted no on the proposal, says keeping the dollars in the General Fund is the financially responsible thing to do. Scutchfield has said the council needs to “prioritize and finish the projects” it has already started.