by Brenna Angel, Kentucky Public Radio

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray has released a budget proposal that calls for $27 million in cuts.

More than two dozen city jobs are on the chopping block and 214 vacant positions will go unfilled, leaving the number of people employed by the city at its lowest point since 1999.

Gray says the layoffs are necessary given flat revenue and rising healthcare costs.

“We’ve got good employees working in this government and we need to remember that. It’s also our responsibility to our citizens and our taxpayers that we are efficient in our administration of our government. And so continuing to work on this is going to be important,” he says.

The budget does not call for any tax increases. The Urban County Council will review and debate the proposal over the next several weeks. Gray says he welcomes suggestions and ideas.

Louisville is also facing a tight budget for the next fiscal year. Mayor Greg Fischer will introduce his proposal next month, but he has said everything is on the table to be cut.