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City council approves $507 million budget, the largest in Lexington history

Learn about the latest votes from the city council, including a breakdown of the historic $507 million budget + Urban Service Boundary expansion.

A busy downtown at dusk with cars driving fast

Hey, downtown Lexington, we think you’re pretty cool too. | Photo by @femibranded

Table of Contents

Last Thursday, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG) voted to approve two major items — the 2023-2024 budget + the expansion of the Urban Service Boundary. Let’s take a closer look at both.


The $507 million budget is the largest in the city’s history — a slight increase over the first $505 million draft + a seven percent increase over this year’s budget.

  • $6 million for a new government center
  • $2 million to re-imagine Phoenix Park
  • $1.4 million to design a second senior center + therapeutic recreation center in Shillito Park
  • $1 million for a new roof at the Pam Miller Downtown Arts Center
  • $750,000 to develop a new training center site for the police and fire departments
  • $500,000 to develop property acquired along the Kentucky River
  • A 5% raise for most city employees

Urban Service Boundary expansion

For the first time in 27 years, the Urban Service Boundary (USB) will expand, opening up an additional 2,700-5,000 acres for development.

So, what is the USB? It essentially serves as a border, limiting where new urban development can occur.

The vote to expand aligns with the goals + objectives for the city’s 2023 Comprehensive Plan — Imagine Lexington 2045. Research revealed that Lexington can expect an additional 80,000 people to move to the area over the next 20 years. In turn, they identified 5,600 acres of land would be needed to house the growth.

The planning commission is expected to present a plan for how the additional acreage will be developed by December 2024.