The Lexington Urban County Council agreed Thursday to add to Mayor Jim Gray’s proposed budget money for 12 additional EMTs; $4.5 million for an extension road between Citation and Winburn drives; and $350,000 for intersection improvements in the Beaumont area.
The council voted not to add $5 million to the budget to preserve a more-than-1,000-acre farm on Ironworks Pike.
Thursday was the second day of deliberations on Mayor Jim Gray’s proposed $358 million budget, which includes money for 30 new police officers, about $30 million in borrowing for capital projects, and a 2 percent raise for most employees. The council was to take its first vote on the budget June 15.
Council’s changes increased the borrowing to a little more than $36 million. The budget is for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
On Thursday, the council agreed to cut from the budget $250,000 that had been set aside for a newly created fund that developers can use to help with some infrastructure projects. The council also cut $350,000 from a job incentive fund that has more than $1 million in unspent funds to pay for additional projects.
The council voted 10-5 to add $472,000 to pay for 12 new emergency medical technicians, who would start in January. Lexington fire crews say the number of runs has increased by 9 percent this year over the same period of time last year, while the number of patients has increased by 15 percent.
Also on Thursday, the council agreed to replace a 1991 prisoner transport van for $170,000.
Using money left over from unspent bond funds for this year, the council added $150,000 for pedestrian safety improvements such as crosswalks and signals. In addition, the council approved $350,000, also from unspent funds in the current year budget, for intersection improvements for the Beaumont development on Harrodsburg Road.
The council agreed to use leftover money in the current-year budget to make debt payments on $4.5 million to design and build a less than 1-mile connector road between Citation and Winburn drives. The Winburn neighborhood has only one way in and one way out. The project will be paid for through bond funds.
Councilman James Brown, whose district includes Winburn, said the connector road has long been on the books but has never been built.
The council voted 11-4 against a motion that would have allocated money to purchase the development rights for Castleton Lyons.
The Rural Land Management Board asked for $5 million to protect the land from future development, sparking much debate on council. The federal government typically pays for half of farmland conservation easements. But Shane Ryan, the owner of Castleton Lyons, is an Irish citizen who does not pay federal income taxes and does not qualify for federal matching funds.
Those who voted against additional money to buy the development rights for Castleton Lyons: Jake Gibbs, Joseph Smith, Amanda Bledsoe, James Brown, Bill Farmer Jr., Peggy Henson, Angela Evans, Fred Brown, Jennifer Scutchfield, Kevin Stinnet and Richard Moloney. Those who voted to add money to the budget to purchase the development rights for Castleton Lyons were Susan Lamb, Kathy Plomin, Jennifer Mossotti and Vice Mayor Steve Kay.