Lexington among 10 cities chosen to participate in technology program

bmusgrave@herald-leader.comOctober 15, 2013 

Lexington is one of 10 local governments to be chosen as a Code for America site — a program that links tech experts with local governments to find ways to streamline and improve government services through technology.

During the past three years, the Code for America teams have developed 75 types of web applications for 20 city governments.

Lexington was announced as one of the sites Tuesday at the Code for America summit in San Francisco. In addition to Lexington, other cities named as part of the program include Atlanta; Charlotte N.C.; Chattanoga; Denver; and Long Beach, Calif. The cities will be paired with 31 technology fellows who also were selected Tuesday.

"Citizens of university cities like Lexington want a high quality of life, and Code of America helps raise the bar through innovative solutions and improved services," Mayor Jim Gray said.

Cities have to pay $360,000 for the program. About half of Lexington's $360,000 came from private donations from an assortment of individuals and groups, and the remaining $180,000 came from public funds.

One of the proposals for Lexington includes a neighborhood information management system to gather neighborhood-level data on building permits, police calls and code enforcement to analyze existing and emerging problems. The program currently is working as a pilot project, with data being used to analyze problems in and around the University of Kentucky.

More than 20 local groups and individuals are backing Lexington's program — including Commerce Lexington and UK. The overwhelming community support for the Lexington program is a first, Code for America officials said Tuesday.

"This is more than Code for America has ever before experienced in the history of the fellowship program," said Luke Norris, director of government relations for Code for America. Code for America is a nonprofit program.

Beth Musgrave: (859) 231-3205. Twitter: @HLCityhall.

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