Mayor Newberry Announces Budget Proposal

This struggling economy is hitting city hall.

Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry laid out his proposed budget for the 2008-09 fiscal year, hoping to keep the city from a $35 million shortfall.

He says the city must tighten its financial belt by taking drastic cuts and by increasing some fees.

"Tight financial times present us with the opportunity to thoroughly scrutinize expenditures, and we have attempted to do that," Mayor Newberry said.

In this budget, the mayor proposes a decrease in spending, and an increase in some fees.

He's calling for an increase in fees for business applications, emergency 911 calls, and EMS services.

The proposed budget also calls for reducing the city's workforce by 180. This would be done through attrition and retirement, rather than firings.

Overtime would also be cut by 10 percent.

The mayor is also calling for some new initiatives.

He says the proposed budget would fund renovations for the Lyric Theater.

It was also establish money for the Lexington First Scholarship. It gives scholarships high school students who want to study science, technology, engineering, or math in college.

This year's budget, a $274 million spending plan, was only a $7 million decrease from the 2007-08 budget.

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