Budget Committee gives approval to FY 2021- 2022 Capital and Operating Budgets
Louisville – In a unanimous vote, the Louisville Metro Council’s Budget Committee approved the 2021-2022 Capital and Operating Budgets for the coming fiscal year.
On April 22, Mayor Fischer presented a budget with increased investments in public safety, including violence prevention; increased funding for housing initiatives; a continuation of the effort to improve our roads and sidewalks, and other initiatives. Those initiatives are by and large funded in the amended operating and capital budgets approved by the Metro Council Budget Committee today.
Utilizing Louisville’s improved revenue forecast, the Metro Council Budget Committee’s amended budget also expands funding for public safety, libraries, parks, infrastructure, and deferred maintenance. It reduces proposed borrowing by just over $10 Million, compared to the original proposed budget.
The amended budget appropriates additional dollars to improve compensation at LMPD, Corrections, Emergency Management Services and Louisville Fire. These funds appear in the Office of Management and Budget General Adjustments Account and are subject to negotiation with the labor organizations representing workers in those departments.
The amended budget includes the proposed $2.9 Million for a pilot 911 Prioritization and Deflection Project but moves the funding from LMPD to Emergency Services, which operates the 911 system.
The police-community relation project funded in the budget is Reconciliation – the John Jay College National Network for Safe Communities (NNSC) program which aims for communities and law enforcement to come to a position of respect and trust by recognizing historical harms and experiences, building empathy, and finding common ground and a mutually supported way forward ($600,000).
An additional $1.5 Million is appropriated to the Jefferson County Attorney to fund legal services associated with the Department of Justice review of LMPD and Louisville Metro Government.
Using $1 million in funding reserved for “Council-designated priorities” in the Mayor’s proposed budget, the amended budget makes additional investments in human services throughout the community.
Human service funding includes:
• $279,400 for 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. It targets high-traffic areas and offers unhoused individuals an opportunity to get off the streets and to different work opportunities, where they’ll receive a lunch and $50 stipend for a day’s work. In addition, the program aims to connect unhoused individuals with Goodwill’s resources, designed to end poverty and guide individuals to self-sufficiency.
• $100,000 for 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.
• Increased funding for Family and Children’s Place ($33,100) and the Center for Women and Families ($16,500).
• Funding to Catholic Charities for an indigent burial program ($65,000)
(“Council-designated” funds will also be used to: fund a “Parks for All” Equitable Investment Plan, to be matched by the Louisville Parks Foundation, to help develop a plan for equitable investments in parks throughout Louisville Metro ($200,000); expand the effort to remove graffiti in the community ($150,700); and hire two additional Code Enforcement Officers and one Zoning Enforcement Officer, to improve neighborhoods throughout Louisville.)
Other human service changes in the amended budget include:
• Funding for a Neighborhood Place in East Louisville to serve residents affected by a closure of a Neighborhood Place as part of 2019 budget cuts ($200,000).
• Replacement funding for $350,000 in the Corrections budget, to allow for the elimination of revenue from inmate telephone calls. The amended budget calls for the elimination of fees for inmate telephone calls which generate review for Louisville Metro no later than December 31, 2021.
• The Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund’s’ allocation carries the new requirement that 25% of the $10 million investment be dedicated to serving very low-income households, at or below 30% Area Median Income.
The capital budget includes $2 million for renovation of the Portland Library at 3305 Northwestern Parkway, the Louisville Free Public Library branch most in need of renovation, including an elevator to make the second floor accessible to all library users. The library is a historic Carnegie library, one of four still operating in Louisville.
It also includes $500,000 to reopen for library services the historic Carnegie library building in Parkland, at 2743 Virginia Avenue.
The amended budget also includes $1,040,000 in funds for Phase I of a library complex on Metro-owned property in the Fern Creek area, to replace a library closed as part of budget cuts two years ago.
Road and Sidewalk Projects
The amended budget adds to the $22 million appropriation for road and sidewalk repairs in the proposed budget with locally funded projects, and investments of $4,567,500 to leverage an additional $18.2 million in federal funds. Among the projects are:
• 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 and Metro Facilities
The amended budget includes funds for deferred maintenance and other improvements to Louisville Metro facilities:
• 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)
Finally, to advance Louisville Metro’s renewable energy goals, the amended budget requests the identification of cost savings from energy conservation identified by Metro’s new Energy Manager, and calls for the reinvestment of those savings back into improving energy infrastructure in Metro facilities as well as securing renewable energy supply.