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    Lexington council members will be asked to set aside money for infrastructure improvements that could bring new jobs. Budget committee members discussed the details of the program Tuesday. Funds could be used for road, sewer, sidewalk, streetscape, and public transportation improvements. Planning Commissioner Derek Paulsen says such improvements could encourage economic development. “I think it’s one of those things we don’t want to make it just a downtown issue,” said Paulsen. The initial proposal is for $750,000 to be spent on infrastructure improvements. Council member Fred Brown asked if additional city money is allotted for these kinds of improvements, saying the idea looks like a potential private/public partnership. “I don’t know where it falls in the economic development. I think there’s some duplication here,” said Brown. Council will be asked to consider a formal ordinance to move the project forward. ​

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    Lexington police are developing informational material for the public about proper response to “stops” by law enforcement officers. It will be included in a pamphlet that will soon be released. The brochure is expected to include information on how to act when stopped in a car, on the street, or if an officer comes to a residence. Police Chief Mark Barnard told council members this week that local pastors had asked about family members who may travel outside Lexington. “We communicate well in Lexington, but their concern is, overall, if my child or friend of mine goes outside Lexington, how do I train that person to interact with law enforcement,” said Barnard. In addition to pamphlets, Barnard said officers may teach classes and share information with police agencies in other states. ​

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    More than two dozen Lexington residents chose to experience for one day what being homeless is like. Included in that group was Lexington Council Member Susan Lamb. During the noon hour Wednesday Lamb was at Lighthouse Ministries where well over a hundred homeless and low income citizens got lunch. Lamb participated in the 24-hour “Give Kids a Home” homeless experience and fundraiser. She slept on the ground downtown and met many homeless people. Lamb says, during her time on the streets, she didn’t feel uncomfortable or scared, “I have felt welcomed wherever we were, even though we weren’t truly homeless, we still we deemed as important as anybody else to have a meal.” Lamb was in a group of three women given tasks to accomplish during their time on the streets. They were asked to get to a site for a mental health screening and identify a place to wash clothes for free. From what she experienced, Lamb feels positive about homelessness services offered by the city.​

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    Lexington’s programs to assist foreign-language-speaking residents are getting positive reactions from several city council members.

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    Mayor Jim Gray has appointed longtime realtor and lifelong Lexington resident Joe Smith to the Urban County Council representing the Second District. Smith’s appointment comes following the April resignation of Sasha Love Higgins. Love Higgins stepped down following felony theft indictments against her.

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    Lexington’s council has overwhelmingly approved a new budget for the fiscal year beginning July first. The $358 million spending plan includes funding for 30 additional police officers. Mayor Jim Gray says it’s the city’s biggest investment ever in public safety.

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    NOTE: As of Wednesday July 12, Lexington officials say that, due to a large expected crowd, the location for the public meeting, and possibly the date, are likely to change.: Lexington residents with concerns about their cable television or Internet service get a chance next month to air those grievances in a public meeting. The opportunity to sound off was announced during Tuesday’s Lexington council work session.

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    A Lexington council committee will study ways of increasing representation of women through public art. Council member Jennifer Mossotti made the request Tuesday.

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    A review of Lexington’s Purchase of Development Rights program by a Council committee Tuesday included discussion of a designated revenue stream to help support the rural land preservation effort. It would involve the use of hotel/motel tax money.

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    The chair of a Lexington’Urban County Council committee says it’s not always dollars that lure commercial enterprises to local areas. Economic development incentives got a going-over last week at Lexington City Hall.

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    Lexington council’s examination of comprehensive plan issues includes debate about the future location of social service facilities. The matter got a lengthy review Tuesday during another discussion of recommended goals and objectives for the plan intended to help determine future growth.

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