February 22nd, 2021

5th District Newsletter 

Hello Neighbors,

I'd like to take a moment to thank the wonderful crews that worked around-the-clock during the three recent winter storms. We saw the best of our Streets and Roads Division, 311 workers, first responders, and utility crews. Hopefully this warmer weather will continue to melt the remaining accumulation! 

I'm looking forward to the budget presentations from various divisions across government over the next few days. As the Mayor begins drafting her budget, we will have the opportunity to hear from Division Directors, Commissioners, etc. regarding their needs for the upcoming fiscal year. These presentations will help me and my colleagues finalize the budget once the Mayor presents her proposed budget to the Council in April. 

The Mayor's administration has recently launched the Lex Do This! campaign to encourage our friends and neighbors to get their COVID-19 vaccines. It's also been recently announced that that Lexington has secured an additional $9.6 million in federal funding to assist with our housing stabilization efforts! You can find more information about both of these developments in this week's newsletter. 

Meetings to add to your calendar in the upcoming weeks:  Take Care, 

During the Council Reports of the Work Session held on 02/09/2021, I got to help spread the word about The Kenwick Times. An enterprising nine year old 5th District resident has created quite the buzz in the Kenwick neighborhood with her printed newsletter! If you'd like to subscribe or submit entries for the next edition, email: They're taking submissions from residents of all ages. The first edition was a big hit, and Mayor Gorton especially enjoyed the "Joke Corner." It's heartwarming to see our young people step up to create a sense of community through such a creative and fun project.  
The opioid epidemic continues to impact our City. With my professional background, the psychological impacts of COVID-19 are never far from my mind. While necessary to help stop the spread of this pandemic and save lives--suspending in-person services, social isolation, and a general sense of uncertainty have seemingly contributed to an increase in opioid overdose and death.

Our great 5th District neighbors at Wheeler Pharmacy on Romany Road are stepping up to help protect our friends and loved ones. Many of our younger folks develop a dependence on opioids by first experimenting with pain medications. As the parent of a young person myself, I know how important it is to be mindful and to dispose of any unused prescriptions. This medication drop box (located inside of the pharmacy) is one more tool in our collective toolbox to ensure that medications, including opioids, are safely disposed of. 

Photograph of the first destination of the African American Heritage Walking Tour located near the Old Courthouse downtown Lexington.
Black History Month serves as a time to celebrate, honor, and learn about the historical contributions of Black Americans to our nation's past and present. Black History Month evolved from renowned historian (and former Lexington resident) Carter G. Woodson's efforts in 1926 to do just that. The organization that he cofounded with minister Jesse E. Moorland is today known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History

There are many ways to celebrate and learn even during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • You can participate in Lexington's African American Heritage Tour (an audio version is also available through the Public Library). 
  • The Living Arts and Sciences Center currently has a gallery exhibit available either by reservation or virtual viewing.
  • The UK MLK Center has various programming throughout the month of February.
  • The ASALH also has virtual programming available.
"The University of Kentucky Confucius Institute invites you to our 2021 Chinese New Year Celebration Livestream! 

Join us at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, as we go live with an inside look at Spring Festival celebrations in China as well as special messages from UK President Eli Capilouto, Provost David Blackwell, Associate Provost of Internationalization Sue Roberts, and our very own Executive Director, Dr. Huajing Maske and more!

Check out
our trailer to get a sneak peek of Friday's event.

We will also be announcing the winners of our 2020 China My Lens Photo Competition, which had more than 50 contestants this year!"
When it's your turn, get your safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine! Supplies of vaccine doses are steadily increasing and more vaccination sites are opening. I know that many Lexington residents are eager to get their "shot of hope." You can join the "Lex Do This!" campaign by sharing on social media why you'll be getting vaccinated! Use the hashtag #LexDoThis! to help raise awareness. 

Also, keep an eye out for posters popping up around the 5th District in the coming days/weeks. 
COVID-19 Testing Sites Throughout Lexington
Find information about current COVID-19 testing locations by visiting the City website. 

Visit the City's vaccine website to find the most up-to-date information on how and where to obtain your COVID-19 vaccination. There is widespread interest from residents in Lexington to get their doses of the vaccine; all levels of government are working diligently to get these "shots of hope" into the arms of everyone as quickly as possible. Until we have the vast majority of people vaccinated it is still important to wear our masks, keep our distance, and wash our hands often. 

"Since the start of the pandemic, the City has already invested $4,025,786 in rental assistance through several programs to help 1,472 local families.

The expanded program will build on that, assisting with overdue rent and utility payments and possible future payments for citizens within federal eligible income guidelines who have lost income because of the pandemic." (Click the image to read the full 02-17-2021 press release from the City.)

If you or someone you know needs rental or utility assistance due to lost income from the COVID-19 crisis, please apply here. Approved applicants will be eligible for 100% of past-due rent, dating back to April of 2020, and up to three months of future payments. These funds are also available to landlords. 


"The Division of Planning invites you to participate in a virtual presentation and listening session on February 25th from 6-7:30 p.m. During this session, we will be discussing the open spaces that are provided during new development. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about and provide feedback on new regulations* to ensure the quality of future neighborhood open spaces in Lexington, Kentucky.

What exactly is open spaceWell-designed open spaces provide the physical setting for people to gather and establish social connections, create a sense of community, and encourage health through walking and activity—and they are essential to the development of complete neighborhoods and communities.

Why do we need your feedback? As community members, you bring various perspectives on the outdoor spaces that make you feel the most welcome and connected to your neighborhood—and we need to hear those perspectives. You may also help us see where we have missed the mark in the past and how we might improve our open space regulations with this new update.

This session is open to the public, though space is limited, so register early! Please forward this invitation to others you feel would be interested in this engagement opportunity."


"On Monday, February 22, from noon to 1:00 p.m., Commerce Lexington's Public Policy Over Lunch Series presented by Kentucky American Water will feature local and state leaders who are spearheading the vaccine distribution process impacting the Lexington area. Speakers include Lexington Mayor Linda GortonDr. Kraig Humbaugh, Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, and Dr. Mark Newman, UK HealthCare. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear the latest updates on vaccine distribution, vaccination sites, eligibility timelines and other important COVID-19 updates."

Register here or by clicking the above image. 
Monday March 1st, 2021, Keenland will be announcing further details about prices and how individuals can purchase their tickets for the Spring Meet occurring from April 2nd-April 23rd 2021. Masks and distancing will be required while on the grounds, in addition to health screenings and temperature checks at the entrances. Click the above image for more information. 
The 8th annual Lexus for the Little Ones raffle is live! By purchasing your $100 raffle ticket, you will be entered to win a new 2021 All-Wheel Drive ES 250 in the color of your choice. All proceeds raised by this event will support Kentucky Children’s Hospital and the Woodhill Community Center
The Lexington & Fayette County Parking Authority released their Annual Report for fiscal year 2020. You can view the full report here. 

I was particularly excited about the completion of water quality improvements at the downtown Helix Garage:
"The goal of the treatment system is to capture most of the runoff from the garage as it contains oils, greases, chemicals, and road salts. Prior to the installation of the treatment system this runoff emptied directly into Town Branch. Now, the polluted water is routed through two 1,000-gallon oil/water separator tanks which filter out impurities before it is released into the Town Branch. A more visible element of the treatment system is a new area of vividly colored permeable concrete at the center of the Helix exit ramp. This area filters rainwater through a limestone gravel base layer before sending it to the second oil/water separator for additional treatment. This element replaced an area of impermeable concrete and exposed soil with a functional design feature thus adding to the overall aesthetic of The Helix."

"In many areas, winter is a season of bitter cold and numbing wetness.  Help your pets remain happy and healthy during the colder months by following these simply guidelines.

  • Don't leave dogs outdoors when the temperature drops.  Most dogs, and all cats, are safer indoors, except when taken out for exercise.  Regardless of the season, shorthaired, very young, or old dogs and all cats should never be left outside without supervision.  Short-coated dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater during walks.
  • No matter what the temperature, wind-chill can threaten a pet's life.  A dog or cat is happiest and healthiest when kept indoors.  If your dog is an outdoor dog, however, he/she must be protected by a dry, draft-free doghouse that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably, but small enough to hold in his/her body heat.  The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw.  The house should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
  • Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy.  Routinely check your pet's water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen.  Use plastic food and water bowls rather than metal; when the temperature is low, your pet's tongue can stick and freeze to metal.
  • Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood.  To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car's hood to scare them away before starting your engine.
  • The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet's feet.  Wipe the feet with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates his/her mouth.
  • Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children.  Wipe up spills and store antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach.  Better yet, use antifreeze-coolant made with propylene glycol; if swallowed in small amounts, it will not hurt pets, wildlife, or your family.

Probably the best prescription for winter's woes is to keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family.  The happiest dogs are those who are taken out frequently for walks and exercise but kept inside the rest of the time.  Dogs and cats are social animals who crave human companionship.  Your animal companions deserve to live indoors with you and your family."

Our neighbors facing housing insecurity and/or experiencing homelessness are at increased risk of illness and death during winter months. The Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention continues to provide resources and shelter to Lexington residents that need it. By clicking the above image, you can review the City's 2020-2021 Homeless System Winter Response Plan. 
JOB CLUB 02/23/2021
Job Club is a partnership between The Fayette County Cooperative Extension Service, the University of Kentucky (UK) Alumni Association and UK Human Resources STEPS Temporary Employment.

From the Job Club Website: 

"The purpose of Job Club is to provide a positive environment for motivated job seekers to meet, connect, share and learn. The free group is open to the public and meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, from 9:00–10:15 a.m. Job Club is for you if you are a motivated professional and currently out of work, underemployed or looking to make a career transition. In addition, recruiters and employers are always welcome and introduced to Job Club attendees."

Tomorrow's presentation will be led by Jon Caldwell, SVP, Chief People Officer, Valvoline to help attendees identify ways to improve their job search. 

Visit their website to learn more about the upcoming conversations that are currently scheduled until May 25th, access their Resource Packet, and previous Job Club Sessions
Joining a board or commission is a great way to have your voices heard on local issues that matter to you. If you're looking for a way to give back and help to shape the direction of Lexington's future, I encourage you to review this list and apply!  You'll find the current list of vacancies for the City's boards and commissions, application deadlines/requirements, and meeting schedules.
5th District Council Office Contact Information:
Councilmember Liz Sheehan, 859-280-8242 (
Legislative Aide Layton Garlington, 859-280-8258 (


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Councilmember Liz Sheehan · 200 E Main St Ofc 520 · Lexington, KY 40507-1310 · USA

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