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Metro Council committee approves proposed budget

Increased funding will come to various projects including roads, parks, libraries and homeless.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville’s $1 billion budget took a step forward, passing a Metro Council committee on Tuesday.

After two months of hearings and public input, the budget committee unanimously approved amended versions of the capital and operating budgets.

“We’re making historic investments across the east, the south, central, west and beyond,” Councilman Markus Winkler, District 17 said.

The council also gave a breakdown of the additional funding including:

  • Roads: Metro Council’s budget funds road repair at record levels, with more than $30 Million devoted to road repaving. The budget also includes the first significant investment in alley repaving in decades, with $1 Million set aside to begin implementing a new alley restoration plan. In addition to resurfacing in the proposed budget, additional money is set aside for a turn lane on Herr Lane at Westport Road, traffic lights on Aiken Road, and continuation of Brentlinger Lane. Metro-wide traffic calming efforts received a $500,000 appropriation.
  • Sidewalks: Louisville’s sidewalks will be improved, with $3 Million for sidewalk repairs spread across all Metro Council districts, including $1 Million in federal Community Project Funding. The budget also includes a $560,000 appropriation for new sidewalk construction on McCawley Road in South Central Louisville.
  • Parks: Louisville Metro parks all over the county received additional appropriations, with $1 Million for Jefferson Memorial Forest; $1 Million for Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing; $350,000 to replace the roof at the Iroquois Amphitheater; $330,000 for public infrastructure near the new Maple Street Park in West Louisville; $300,000 for continued improvements to Charlie Vettiner Park; and an additional $100,000 for Nelson Hornbeck Park.
  • Homeless Outreach: Funds were added to the budget to significantly expand Goodwill’s successful Another Way program, which offers unhoused individuals in high-traffic areas an opportunity to get off the streets for work opportunities and connection to Goodwill’s many resources, which aim to end poverty and guide individuals to self-sufficiency. Started as a pilot funded by Metro Council members in FY 21, the amended budget funds the expanded county-wide program at $1 Million. The amended budget also includes funding for homeless outreach in Downtown Louisville and $220,000 for homeless outreach in underserved areas, especially outside the Watterson Expressway.
  • Libraries: Book and e-book purchases will increase, with $200,000 in additional funding added in the amendment. American Rescue Plan funding approved earlier this month included major improvements at the Main and Portland branches, the reopening of the Parkland Library and a new library in Fern Creek.
  • Corrections: Metro Council’s amendment includes $150,000 in additional mental health resources at Louisville’s jail, in addition to the many improvements in the original proposed budget.

“What we have done here is to make some significant investments we need in the community. Roads, alleys, we've increased the funding for libraries, we've addressed some park concerns, services to Louisville's homeless community where we know the issues are serious and growing,” District 9 Councilman and committee chair Bill Hollander said.

The full Metro Council will vote on the budget during Thursday’s meeting.

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