Mayor Gray Backs Creation Of Jobs Fund With Surplus Dollars

Oct 22, 2013

Mayor Jim Gray wants to see $2M of Lexington’s budget surplus placed into a Jobs Fund.

The city’s Budget and Finance Committee is expected to take up the suggestion today.

Lexington’s unemployment rate remains 6.1 percent and to help remedy that Mayor Gray says a portion of the budget surplus should go into an economic development fund. The fund would go toward grants and loans to help bolster job creation and attract new high-tech positions to Lexington.

Currently Paducah is the only Kentucky city with such a fund, but Durham, N.C. and Cleveland, O.H. have also gotten behind the idea. City officials say the money would not duplicate state incentives, but instead fill in the gaps in those incentives.  

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the fund would be overseen by the city's chief development officer and a dedicated board.

The Urban County Council would have final say over any loan or grant.