Resolution passes to set aside millions in COVID relief money for Lexington workers

Lexington will set aside $15 million in American Rescue Plan act funding for “hero pay”.
Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 11:05 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington will set aside $15 million in American Rescue Plan act funding for “hero pay”.

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council unanimously passed the resolution Thursday night, setting the stage for hundreds of Lexington workers who worked through the pandemic to receive supplemental pay.

But not everyone is pleased with the allocation in its current state.

“It’s a slap in the face to each and every individual department that’s worked through this pandemic,” said Billy Moore, Sr. Moore has worked for the city of Lexington for 44 years. Now with the Division of Water Quality, Moore was upset that he was not originally deemed an essential worker.

“In the division that I’m in, we’re constantly in raw sewage,” Moore said. “So, when we’re down there working on that sewer line, we’re getting everything that comes through everybody’s home.”

Moore noted that the city has limited face-to-face contact for his job on a daily basis. Even still, he says more than 20 people in his division have caught COVID, including himself.

“We put our lives in jeopardy each and every day that we went out for the last year and a half,” said Moore.

Councilmember Whitney Baxter acknowledged they will never be able to please everyone. But she says the next county council meeting on October 28th is expected to clear up questions like how much money each person receives.

“Somewhere around $10,000 per person,” Moore said when asked about what outcome would satisfy him from that next meeting. “I mean, the money’s there.”

As more workers like Moore are factored in, that figure becomes less and less realistic. But he hopes that something good comes out of the next meeting.

“You really have to wait for the next two weeks to see what the outcome is really going to be,” said Moore.

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