Plus, a new Distillery District restaurant opens.
April 17, 2024 6AM-Top banner logo-small.png


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76º | 65% chance of precipitation
Sunrise 6:58 a.m. | Sunset 8:16 p.m.

Our proposed $531.8 million budget
An aerial shot of downtown Lexington.
The Greentree Road project is estimated to cost $8.1 million and will see roads closed until the end of April. | Photo courtesy of @femibranded
Yesterday afternoon, Mayor Linda Gorton presented a $531.8 million budget for the 2024-2025 fiscal year to the Lexington City Council. If approved, it would break last year’s record for the largest budget in Lexington history.

According to Mayor Gorton, this budget includes $110 million in planned capital spending, focuses on the city’s needs, and anticipates a 6% revenue growth. Let’s dive into what is being proposed.

Senior and therapeutic center

After three years in the making, a new 25,000-sqft senior and therapeutic center is anticipated to kick off construction, contingent on council approval. The senior center would service adults 55+, while the therapeutic center would be available for kids five and over with disabilities. Here’s a few fast facts about the center:
  • $24 million set aside in the budget
  • Located at Shilito Park near the fire station
  • Expected to take 15-18 months to build
  • Will include a recreation room, fitness equipment, art room, movement room, and classrooms
  • 300 parking spaces
Mayor Linda Gorton sits at a desk to address the media.

Mayor Linda Gorton describes this budget as “solid, no frills.” | Photo by LEXtoday

Public safety

According to Mayor Gorton, 56% of the budget proposal is reserved for public safety. These efforts include:
  • 15 new government positions
  • $3.5 million for new police patrol vehicles
  • $5.1 million to replace EMS and fire department vehicles
  • Increasing funding to $50,000 for our violence prevention program ONE Lexington
  • Increasing funding to $100,000 for mental health court
  • Adding 25 more FLOCK license plate readers, bringing the city’s total to 125
  • $150,000 investment into DNA testing technology to expedite finding perpetrators of crimes

Economic development

Lexington has reportedly seen over an 8% growth in employment since 2020, and a new tri-county project aims to add even more jobs to the central Kentucky region.

Alongside Madison and Scott counties, the city is proposing a $2.1 million investment into a 200-acre economic development park in Scott County that would see all three counties split the revenue.
Wednesday, April 17
  • Lexington Career Fair | Wednesday, April 17 | 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Hyatt Regency Lexington, 401 W. High St., Lexington | Free | Explore new opportunities and strengthen connections with Lexington’s professional community.
  • Children’s Cooking Class | Wednesday, April 17 | 5-7 p.m. | Dunbar Community Center, 545 N. Upper St., Lexington | Free | Let the kids learn how to make a fruit salad, practice safe knife skills, then play a round of bingo — registration is required.
Thursday, April 18
Friday, April 19
  • Pecos & the Rooftops | Friday, April 19 | 7 p.m. | Manchester Music Hall, 899 Manchester St., Lexington | $22 | See this band as they blur the boundaries of country and rock music.
Saturday, April 20
  • Cannabuzz’s One-Year Anniversary Celebration | Saturday, April 20 | 11 a.m.-9 p.m. | Cannabuzz Bar & Dispensary, 938 Manchester St., Lexington | Free | Celebrate the first anniversary of this dispensary + bar with live music, vendors, food trucks, trivia, and infused drinks.
Sunday, April 21
  • Quilts Across America | Sunday, April 21 | 1-4:30 p.m. | Central Branch - Lexington Public Library, 140 E. Main St., Lexington | Free | Quilters are invited to bring their own sewing machine to help make quilts for Lexington’s Sleep in Heavenly Peace chapter, which provides bedding for children — some supplies will be provided.
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4 unique tasting experiences at Heaven Hill
a gif featuring different photos of the heaven hill experience
After your tasting experience, take a walk through the interactive exhibit gallery, have a drink at the Five Brothers Bar, and then check out the gift shop. | Photos provided by Heaven Hill Brand; GIF by LOUtoday
You’re invited to experience the history + tradition of Kentucky’s native spirit at the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience through one of these tastings:
  • Magic of the Mashbill | Learn about five nationally-acclaimed American Whiskeys, each from a different mashbill.
  • Whiskey Connoisseur Experience | Discuss + taste the unique characteristics of Heaven Hill’s American Whiskeys, focusing on the color, aroma, taste + finish.
  • Bottled-In-Bond Tour + Tasting | Enjoy a tasting while touring two of the bonded rickhouses.
  • You Do Bourbon | Taste different products, choose your favorite, and then bottle + personalize it yourself.
News Notes
  • Mazunte Bodega is officially open for business. The newest Distillery District restaurant, next to The Manchester, serves up fusion Mexican-inspired eats like tacos, tortas, tostadas, and more. The spot, and its adjoining event venue La Brasa, will host a grand opening event on June 1. (Lexington Herald-Leader)
  • $39 million. That’s how much the Kentucky Horse Park will receive from the state in the next two years. The House recently passed House Bills 1 + 6, which will go toward historical preservation and tourism. (Lexington Herald-Leader)
  • We’ve got our first Mark Pope recruit. Collin Chandler, who was initially set to play for Brigham Young University, was released from his National Letter of Intent so he could follow Coach Pope to Lexington and join the Wildcats. Chandler was the No. 1 recruit in Utah in 2022. (LEX18)
  • Lexington Vegan Week is fast-approaching, and we’ve got the details on all the meatless goodness. Beginning this Friday, April 19 through April 28, local restaurants will feature vegan bites including — a vegan meatball burrito from girlsgirlsgirls Burritos, a caprese pizza from Rolling Oven, and sage “sausage” sliders from Moody Mike’s.
Try This
  • Holly Hill Inn is celebrating the Run for the Roses the only way Kentucky knows how — a Derby Party. Head to Midway on Saturday, May 5 for its 150th Derby Celebration, where tickets give you access to $5 mint juleps, a raw bar, and a menu featuring catfish pate.
  • You can now find “The Lee and Hayley Show” on a new channel. The daytime show will move to FOX56 after spending the last few years at ABC36. Catch the duo starting Monday, April 29 at noon. (FOX56)
Fun Fact
  • Did you know? 115 out of 149 Kentucky Derby winners have been Kentucky-bred — and eight Derby winners reside in Horse Country. Lexingtonians can get up close to some of racing’s best on a horse farm tour this spring. Explore options + book a tour.*
🌿 Put your records on
A green flexidisc with "Raven Run" written on the front, sitting in a field of grass and flowers.
These flexidiscs are perfect for those days when we need to get a little more in tune with nature. | Photo courtesy of @lexkyparks
Some days when we’re confined to our desks, it’s nice to bring a bit of the outdoors inside. Our parks department seems to agree, which is why they’re giving you a chance to fill your home with the sounds of Raven Run Nature Sanctuary.

In honor of Earth Day + Record Store Day, Lexington Parks & Recreation is teaming up with some of our favorite local record shops to give away flexidiscs, aka playable records printed on thin sheets of plastic, to promote the city’s Earth Day events.

The team used an audio recorder to capture soothing sounds (think: Water babbling, birds chirping, and bees buzzing). Once you pop one of these on your turntable, you’ll be transported to Raven Run through recorded nature soundscapes.

Head to any of these spots on Saturday, April 20 to snag a copy, while supplies last:
The Buy
Briton Court’s new spring collection. Enter the new season with one of these unique printed dresses.
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