Lexington Mayor Jim Gray did not veto any changes made by Urban County Council to a $323 million spending plan that includes a 4 percent raise for most employees, $58 million in borrowing and money for the city to hire an additional 75 summer youth employees.
The new budget took effect July 1.
In addition to increasing the pay raise for city employees from 3 to 4 percent, the council also upped the minimum wage for city employees from the federal minimum of $7.25 to $8.20 an hour. Only seasonal and part-time city employees make minimum wage. The council also increased the number summer youth jobs from 225 to 300.
The council had originally nixed $600,000 for body cameras for Lexington police from the budget after being told there were too many unanswered questions about how much it would cost to store video captured by the cameras. The council later reversed its decision in late June and added money for body cameras after police and city officials told the council that they had better information about the costs.
Many community organizations had pushed for the body cameras, saying the technology would ensure more accountability and transparency.
The Urban County Council is expected to give final approval for the additional $600,000 at its Tuesday council meeting.
Gray had remained mum on whether he would veto any changes the council made after the 15-member council first approved the budget late last month. Gray's staff confirmed Monday that Gray did not issue any vetoes. In an email last week, Gray praised the budget.
"This plan is a balanced approach to investing in basic services, as well as transformational projects that will enhance our quality of life," Gray said.
The council may also debate on Tuesday a series of resolutions that would start the process to issue bonds for $58 million in borrowing. That $58 million includes $22 million to renovate and rehabilitate the former Fayette County Courthouse on Main Street and $10 million for the Town Branch Trail, a new linear downtown park that would connect the city's downtown to its popular rural trail system. Some on council expressed reservations during Thursday's council meeting about approving the resolutions for bonding for the old courthouse without having more details about the future uses for the building.
The $22 million would be used to pay for a new roof, updating the HVAC system and other key changes to the 1899 building — one of the few remaining historic civic buildings left in downtown Lexington. The council is scheduled to be updated on the project after it returns from break in August.
Other budget highlights include:
$250,000 for a parks master plan, which the council and the administration have said is a must to improve the city's aging parks system.
$50,000 for a study to develop a multi-sport complex in Lexington. That's in addition to $75,000 already raised by a nonprofit sports group for an economic impact study to determine how much money a sports complex - which could host regional tournaments for youth sports - would generate.
$1 million for the Jobs Fund, a local economic development fund to attract and keep jobs in Lexington. The fund is in its second year.
$1 million to be set aside to develop land for private businesses.
More than $3 million to be set aside for partner social service agencies.