Breaking News
More () »

Metro Council makes massive spending vote involving millions of dollars from ARP, city's surplus

Some of the funds will go toward helping the healthcare industry recover its workforce, reversing redlining in real estate and a veterans housing project.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Metro Council voted on a massive spending plan Thursday evening involving millions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) as well as the city's surplus cash. 

Of the $58 million in ARP, Metro Council is putting $40 million into helping the healthcare industry recover its workforce. There are currently more than 13,000 hospital employees that are needed in Kentucky. 

According to Kentucky Health Association survey data, there are more than 5,000 registered nurse and licensed practical nurse hospital vacancies - and 53 percent of those missing RN's belong in emergency rooms.

Metro Council also put aside $8 million toward reversing redlining in real estate and another $5 million towards a veterans housing project in southwest Jefferson County.

"If you recall, I think it was in round two, we allocated money for the land acquisition of that," Councilman Markus Winkler, District 17 said. "So this is $5 million to go towards the construction."

The oridinace passed with 23 members voting "yes" and two voting "no."

Meanwhile, Metro Council has officially decided how to use the surplus money.

Some of the surplus will go toward tearing down the Hogan's Fountain Pavilion, nicknamed the Tee Pee, in Cherokee Park because its been ruled unsafe.

Just over $8 million will go to a birthing center at UofL Health's Mary & Elizabeth Hospital in South Louisville. The money will provide the only hospital west of I-65 that could provide OB services. 

However, some Metro Council members were reluctant as they feel the hospital could wait, in favor of putting more in the rainy day funds. 

"You know, all economic indicators are showing that we're heading toward a recession if we're not already in one," Councilman Scott Reed, District 16 said. "I just don't see what the and believe me, I am very much in favor of the birthing center. I think it's a great thing, very necessary. But I also don't think that it's too imprudent to hold off for three or four months or five months. So as to see where we stand."

Ultimately, the ordinance passed with 23 members voting yes and two voting no.

Meanwhile, a separate ordinance increases funding for renovations of the former youth detention center in Louisville, as well as providing more than $1.5 million in funding to help demolish LMPD's downtown headquarters.

Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the WHAS11 News app now. For Apple or Android users.

Have a news tip? Email assign@whas11.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.

Before You Leave, Check This Out