LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Metro Council met for the last time before the holiday to decide the future of Louisville's roughly $30 million surplus.
The Budget Committee passed the ordinance late Thursday evening; it had a few big line items, including $8.2 million for a birthing center at UofL Health's Mary and Elizabeth Hospital in South Louisville.
"It was just a couple of weeks ago that Councilwoman Fowler and I heard from a physician in this community," Councilwoman Cassie Chambers Armstrong said. "Who called to tell us of her support for this particular project because she had a patient who gave birth at home because she did not have the ability to get to her birthing center as quickly as she needed to."
Louisivlle Metro Parks and Recreation also received funding; of the $2.9 million allocated for deferred maintenance, $600,000 will go toward tearing down and rebuilding the historic pavilion, also known as the Teepee, in Cherokee Park.
Nearby playgrounds have been closed since May due to the required maintenance and fear of collapse.
“I think it's really important that we try to get those playground facilities open back up because I do think that it's tough for families with young kids whenever the only dedicated playground facilities are closed,” Armstrong said in a Parks and Sustainability Meeting Thursday afternoon.
Plus, $5 million will go toward reversing the effects of redlining.
Budget Committee Chair Bill Hollander said the council took important action. He said he's glad they saved $12 million of the surplus for the rainy day fund; that money will be available to the new incoming administration of Mayor-Elect Craig Greenberg.
“I personally have wished that we would have saved a little bit more,” Hollander said. “I think that may be needed in the future, but they, there are lots of good projects that are needed right now.”
There were some projects that Hollander said he wishes were funded, including the demolition of the fiscal court building and money to move the sheriff's office out of that building and to the Youth Detention Center.
An amendment to fund temporary winter housing for Louisville’s houseless also failed.
The full Metro Council must approve the plan.