Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton stated Tuesday that restoring funding to shelters, social service and reasonably priced housing packages is her prime precedence when town lastly receives federal coronavirus stimulus cash.
Gorton stated town was notified final week that it’ll obtain some funding via the Coronavirus Assist, Reduction, and Financial Safety Act, often known as the CARES Act.
It isn’t identified precisely how a lot cash town will obtain for COVID-19 associated bills. The town will likely be reimbursed for these prices via that program. The reimbursement cash will then return into the overall fund which can be utilized to fund different packages.
At a press convention Tuesday, Gorton stated she would love the Lexington-Fayette City County Council to prioritize restoring funding to the next packages:
- Restoring funding to social service companies
- Restoring funding town’s reasonably priced housing program
- Restoring funding town’s Workplace of Homeless Prevention and Intervention
- Restoring cash to town’s wet day fund
The town remains to be not clear on what kinds of bills qualify for federal COVID-19 stimulus funding. That’s why it’s not but identified how a lot cash will likely be reimbursed to town and the way a lot cash can be utilized to plug holes within the metropolis’s finances.
“Even so, I felt it was clear to determine priorities now,” stated Gorton.
Gorton’s announcement comes simply two days earlier than the Lexington council resumes deliberations on potential modifications to Gorton’s proposed finances. Restoring cuts to housing and social service companies has been one of many council’s prime considerations.
Social service teams and housing advocates have criticized the cuts and have pushed the council to restore that funding.
For the fiscal 12 months that begins July 1, town is estimating a income shortfall of greater than $40 million resulting from coronavirus-related job losses and enterprise closures.
On April 28, Gorton proposed a $372 million budget that included greater than $12 million in cuts throughout metropolis authorities and $6 million in cuts to outdoors companies and teams, together with slicing $3.2 million from the prolonged social sources program. That program gives grants to nonprofits, including shelters for domestic violence victims and women and children.
Gorton has spearheaded fundraising efforts to boost cash for some social service agenices. That fundraising effort has resulted in additional than $250,000 in donations.
Gorton’s finances proposal additionally makes use of greater than $30 million in funds from varied metropolis financial savings accounts.
Gorton’s unique finances slashed funding to the reasonably priced housing fund by $1.eight million. It was created in 2014 and usually receives an annual appropriation of $2 million a 12 months. This system acquired $200,000 that it might probably couple with $400,000 to fund at the very least one new challenge. Gorton stated Tuesday she hopes that there will likely be sufficient reimbursement cash to fund at the very least one different reasonably priced housing challenge.
The town’s Workplace of Homeless Prevention and Intervention was additionally reduce. It acquired $350,000. It usually receives $750,000. Applications that could possibly be axed if funding isn’t restored embrace town’s panhandling van, which pays panhandlers to choose up trash somewhat than beg on metropolis streets.
On Tuesday, Gorton stated she didn’t wish to make cuts to these packages however due to town’s dire monetary state of affairs, felt that it was vital.
“It was not the form of finances I wished to current; it was the form of finances the instances demanded,” Gorton stated. “With some federal help, we are able to do higher.”
Many on the Lexington council, which is at the moment debating modifications to Gorton’s finances proposal, wished to revive funding to a few of these social service packages, arguing now was not the time to slash funding to companies that serve probably the most weak when almost one in 4 Fayette County residents was out of labor.
Gorton stated Tuesday the council might quickly use some cash from reserves to fund social service companies reduce till town receives its reimbursement from the state. Or, the council might wait till later this summer season or early fall when the overall reimbursement quantity is understood earlier than shifting ahead with restoring funds to these packages.
“Our finances this 12 months is a shifting goal,” Gorton stated. “We should be each versatile and artistic in how we make our funds work.”
The council will resume finances deliberations Thursday.