Mondays with the Mayors - Jim Gray, Lexington

Aug 6, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Mayor Jim Gray’s office is reviewing some 440 ideas generated by the public that could be entered into a competition sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies. The organization will award $9 million to cities across the country to implement solutions to major challenges. 

Gray encouraged Lexington residents to start submitting ideas back in June.

“As they’ve come in and as we’ve sorted through them, they really wrap themselves around quality of life, education, and improvement. How are we going to improve what Lexington is as we go forward?”

City officials are developing an evaluation process and will select one idea to submit to Bloomberg by September 14.

Firefighter Grant

Last week Gray joined Congressman Ben Chandler in announcing a $2.6 million federal grant that will allow Lexington to train 28 new firefighters. When the funding expires in two years, Gray says the city will remain committed to a strong public safety force.

“This helps us in the short-term with the funding. It's not like we're adding new slots. It is a recurring need through attrition that we're filling.”

New City Bill

Gray says he is disappointed that Kentucky American Water chose not renew its contract with Lexington for collecting payment on three city fees --  water quality, sanitary sewer, and landfill -- but says an effective replacement has been found in Cincinnati Water Works. Beginning in September, Lexington residents will get a separate bill for those fees.

“Our objective is to illustrate that these are the city services that are already in place and are being received,” says Gray.

Officials say several payment options will be available to customers, including in-person and online.

Mondays with the Mayors is a weekly segment on WUKY  featuring government leaders from across central Kentucky. You can hear it at 8:35 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.