Council Holds Off On Franchise Fee Hike, Food Truck Ordinance

Jun 7, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Urban County Council voted 8-7 Thursday night to table a motion which would have increased franchise fees on utilities by one percent.

The increase was the only hike included in Mayor Jim Gray’s original budget proposal. Councilman Bill Farmer was among those opposing the increase.

"I'm also mindful of the increase cost of government to everyone when any fee or tax is raised and, in that vein... I would hate to raise this fee before we absolutely have to," Farmer told the council.

The upped fee is projected to bring in $4 million, part of which would fund the installation and maintenance of street lights.  The street light fund has been running a deficit for several years, but Farmer said it could be paid down without raising the franchise fee.

Finance Commissioner Bill O’Mara says the fee, in implemented, would cost the average household $1-$2 per month. 

The council also postponed a decision on food trucks.  It tabled an ordinance Thursday night that would have authorized a six-month pilot program in designated areas.  The council is awaiting a policy statement from the Lexington Parking Authority that would determine how food trucks would operate in metered spaces. That document is expected to be drafted by June 13th.