Louisville Metro Council passes city budget

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by Timothy O'Rourke

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 19, 2014 at 8:37 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 19 at 11:27 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Thursday evening the Louisville Metro Council passed a $688,606,800 budget.

The operating budget covers the day-to-day expenses of Metro Government such as LMPD, Louisville Fire and Rescue, EMS, Metro Safe, Public Parks etc. That operating budget passed by a vote of 19 to 6. 

The capital budget, which covers construction and infrastructure improvements, passed by a vote of 23 to 2. 

“As a member of the Budget Committee, we have once again been able to balance the city Budget in a very lean year. As we struggle to return from the Recession, we must continue to maintain and improve our infrastructure as well as public safety,” said Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13). 

The budget has been a highly scrutinized subject since the announcement of an increase in LG&E gas taxes.  That tax of course, needed to fund a new downtown police substation in the clear effort of Mayor Fischer to improve public safety. 

“I am pleased that we have taken the safety and quality of our city into account,” said President Jim King (D-10) “By addressing public safety, youth programs and capital infrastructure, this budget strengthens all of our community.” 

Overall this budget addresses deferred maintenance issues of Metro facilities: 

•       Over $1million for community centers 

•       $1.7million to replace the roof and do façade work on historic Metro Hall, 

•       $1million for repairs at the Belvedere 

•       14 community parks will be repaired and renovated 

 

“Many repairs are made possible through the federal dollars that Metro Louisville receives through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program;” said Councilwoman Marianne Butler (D-15) who serves at the Budget Committee chair. “This is the first year in many years that we have been able to spread the CDBG dollars into community parks.  Many residents will benefit from the repairs at their local park.” 

The budget includes funding for 96 new police officers and the creation of a Real Time Crime Center. The Center will allow analysts to view what is happening in real time with surveillance cameras throughout Metro Louisville.

Mayor Greg Fischer is excited to have this budget passed saying, “I appreciate the Council’s collaborative approach to the new budget. For the past four years, we’ve worked to create a budget that is both realistic and that reflects the values of our community including important investments this year in public safety, youth development, public infrastructure and neighborhoods. Together, we have moved Louisville forward.”

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