UK tournament celebrations cost Lexington nearly $150K

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - University of Kentucky fans in Lexington were excited and still are about the men's basketball team making it to the championship. Its celebrations, however, cost the city some serious money.

Council members discussed those preliminary numbers in a council work session Tuesday.

"Just that total between public safety and what we have for traffic engineering is $148,540. And we still have three to be reported on," Glenn Brown, deputy chief administrative officer for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, says.

Officials tell us they expect that number to be more than $150,000 by the end of it.

The biggest part of the costs involved overtime from police officers which accounted for $113,424.80, according to records released to WKYT.

The total costs involving fire and emergency services equaled $10,694.85.

The costs were all incurred during celebrations for the basketball team's victories on March 28 against Louisville, March 30 against Michigan, April 5 against Wisconsin, and the team's April 7 loss against Connecticut in the national championship game.

After the games, the crowd took down, damaged and vandalized street signs and posts. The areas with the most damage were Elizabeth Street and the adjoining side streets, Woodland Avenue near Euclid, South Limestone near Avenue of Champions, and the areas of Burley Avenue and American Avenue.

The total cost for the replacement and installation of signs was $14,364, according to city records.

Other costs included streets and roads, $1,526.23; communication corrections, $7,810.12; and E911 services, $720.

The city allots overtime in its budget every year and says its used much of that budget for these celebrations.

City officials expect to have an exact total in the next couple of weeks.

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