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Louisville Metro Council passes city budget for fiscal year 2021-2022

Earlier this week, the council's Budget Committee approved the budget with more than $1 billion in planned spending.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Metro Council passed the city's budget in a 24-2 vote during its meeting Thursday.

Earlier this week, the council's Budget Committee approved the budget with more than $1 billion in planned spending, adding around $25 million to Mayor Greg Fischer's initial proposal.

“As our city regains the economic momentum we had before the pandemic, the budget approved tonight provides a roadmap into the promising and exciting next stage of our city’s history – one based in greater equity and justice," Mayor Fischer said following the vote.

More than a dozen departments are listed in the budget proposal, which can be read in full here (the appropriation breakdown begins on page 64).

Here are a few of the items covered in the 2021-22 budget proposal:

Public Safety

In the budget, departments like fire, EMS and Department of Corrections are included under "Public Safety." A total of $276 million was approved to fund these departments and others.

The Louisville Metro Police Department, which is listed separately from Public Safety, will receive $190 million. The council is setting aside more than $9 million for potential salary raises for LMPD, Metro Corrections, EMS and Fire pending ongoing contract negotiations. 

RELATED: 'We need more people.' | Amid rise in violence, LMPD says it's short more than 200 officers

Funds will also be put towards a police-community relations project, moving nearly $3 million in funds from LMPD to Emergency Services for the new deflection program that will send mental health professionals and others to certain emergency runs.

The Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, which is listed under "Community Building," is set to receive close to $2.5 million, about $2 million short of what OSHN Director Monique Williams requested earlier this month.

Libraries

The Budget Committee added extra funding for Louisville's library system in this year's budget proposal.

More than $3 million is proposed to go towards replacing a closed library in Fern Creek, renovating the Portland Library and restarting library services in Parkland.

"Where are libraries being utilized, and where is there a desire for libraries and yet there is no library space to be had in those areas? So, this budget makes an effort at least in addressing that piece of the master plan," said council member Kevin Kramer (R-11).

Construction and maintenance projects

With better-than-expected revenues and funds from the American Rescue Plan, the council was able to add about $17 million back into the budget towards things like road and sidewalk projects.

This includes various maintenance projects, the demolition of LMPD headquarters and the Fiscal Court building.

Sidewalk and Street Repairs:

  • River Road Reconstruction ($2,250,000)
  • Ohio River Levee Trail Phase III ($937,500)
  • AB Sawyer Greenway ($600,000)
  • Dixie Highway Streetscape – Wilson Avenue to Maple Street ($350,000)
  • Olmsted Parkways Algonquin Parkway ($260,000)
  • Olmsted Parkways Southern Parkway ($90,000)
  • Ohio River Valley Northeast (ORVNE) segment of the Louisville Loop ($50,000)
  • Westport Road Improvements ($1,000,000)
  • Hikes Lane Repair ($850,000)
  • St. Anthony Church Road Sidewalk Project ($187,000)
  • Taylor Boulevard Crosswalk Improvements ($100,000)
  • Urton Lane Sidewalk Connection to Shelbyville Road ($50,000)
  • Brentlinger Lane Continuation ($350,000)

Deferred Maintenance Projects:

  • Demolition of obsolete LMPD Headquarters ($1,000,000)
  • Demolition of obsolete Fiscal Court Building ($1,400,000)
  • LMPD 7th Division Headquarters Improvements ($50,000)
  • Farnsley-Moreman Dock Restoration ($250,000)
  • Douglass Community Center Renovations ($100,000)
  • Locust Grove Renovations ($500,000)

Community Services

Metro Council is also pooling its annual $1 million together towards human services across the community this year, instead of splitting the money across the 26 districts:

  • $279,400 will go to Goodwill Industries of Kentucky’s “Another Way” program, expanding a pilot program to a county-wide effort. The program offers a new way for unhoused individuals to earn money and connect with Goodwill’s life-changing resources. 
  • $100,000 will go to the Volunteers of American Unity House, which provides food, housing and safety for families who become homeless due to a wide range of factors, including eviction, domestic violence, mental illness, substance abuse, unemployment or underemployment, lack of affordable housing, and lack of money management and/or life skills.
  • Funding will increase for Family and Children’s Place ($33,100) and the Center for Women and Families ($16,500).
  • $65,000 will go to Catholic Charities for an indigent burial program
  • $200,000 is allocated for the "Parks for All" Equitable Investment Plan to help develop a plan for equitable investments in parks throughout Louisville Metro
  • Money will go towards graffiti removal ($150,700), the hiring of two additional Code Enforcement Officers and one Zoning Enforcement Officer

Other funding

The Jefferson County Attorney's Office is getting $1.5 million to cover the cost of legal services. This is connected to the Department of Justice's investigation into the city and LMPD. That investigation could last until October 2022.

Metro Corrections' budget is set to get $350,000 to cover lost revenue from an amendment getting rid of phone call fees for people in prison. Metro Council said phone call fees need to be gone by the end of the year.

The Department of Public Health and Wellness, which has helped combat the COVID-19 pandemic, is set to receive more than $78 million for the next year.

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