Budget Committee Approves Amended Fiscal Year 2022-2023 Capital and Operating Budgets
Roads and Alleys, Sidewalks, Libraries, Parks, and Services to Louisville’s Homeless Receive Increased Funding
After two months of hearings, public input and deliberations, Louisville Metro Council’s Budget Committee unanimously approved amendments to the proposed Louisville Metro FY 23 Capital and Operation Budgets on Tuesday, June 21. The Committee focused on making prudent fiscal decisions while amending the budgets, which will increase funding for roads and alleys, sidewalks, libraries, parks, and homeless services without any additional borrowing.
The budget amendment addresses the following needs:
- 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.
The amended budget maintains recommended funding for LMPD (Louisville Metro Police Department) (the General Fund budget for which is increasing by $25 Million), the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods (which is funded at record levels), Louisville Fire, Emergency Services, and other Metro agencies. Capital funding originally proposed and approved today includes, among others:
- Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund
- Evolve 502 Scholarship Support
- Dare to Care’s new distribution center
- Waterfront Park Phase IV, extending the park to west of 10th Street
- Louisville Zoo’s new Kentucky Trails exhibit
Additional items were included in the amendment using Council-designated funds, closing out old capital accounts for completed projects, reducing the number of proposed new positions and deferring local matches for federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law projects which have not yet developed. No additional borrowing was authorized.
The budget document requests continued work on identifying accounts to close, and encourages deferring some non-essential spending until December 2022, when the current fiscal year-end ordinance will be before Council and newer projections on revenue and expenses are available.
“I want to thank all of the people who contributed to this process, from the scores of constituents who spoke at public meetings or sent us public comments, to the Councilmembers who attended some thirty meetings and asked questions, to the administration representatives who gave us timely answers. The amended budget makes important investments in our community, through prudent fiscal management and without additional borrowing,” said Budget Committee Chair Bill Hollander (D-9).
“The amendment proposed today represents not just new projects and priorities, but also the effective work of the Metro Council’s Budget committee. The past two months of hearings have yielded savings and sought efficiencies allowing us the opportunity to add millions towards increased paving, sidewalk repair and park improvements without increasing debt or adjusting revenue projections. I thank each member of the committee as well as the many citizens who participated in these efforts,” said Budget Committee Vice-Chair Kevin Kramer (R-11).
The FY 23 Capital and Operating Budgets will be considered by the full Metro Council on Thursday, June 23 at 6:00 pm.