Mayor thanks Council for partnering on FY22 budget
- Quadruples investment in violence prevention
- Provides for up to $10 million for new West End Louisville Partnership; $10 million to Affordable Housing Trust Fund; $3 million in down payment assistance; and $3 million for Evolve502 promise scholarships
- Provides over $55 million for paving, sidewalk repairs and other infrastructure needs
- Permanently ends fines at all Louisville Free Public Libraries
Mayor Greg Fischer thanked the Louisville Metro Council for its partnership in approving a $1.04 billion budget for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2022 that is focused on making Louisville more equitable, reimagining public safety and rebuilding the city’s economy post-COVID.
“I appreciate the cooperative Council process to help us realize those goals, and am especially appreciative of the partnership with President David James, Budget Chair Bill Hollander, Vice Chair Kevin Kramer and the rest of the budget committee,” the Mayor said after the Council vote tonight.
“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,” he said.
Among the highlights of the budget approved by Metro Council last night:
- Funds for the new Civilian Review and Accountability Board and Office of Inspector General and efforts to diversify hiring in public safety agencies.
- Quadruples the city’s investment in violence prevention and capacity-building programs, from $5 million to $19 million, presenting a new “whole of government” approach to public safety, including nearly $5 million in new deflection and diversion programs.
- $2.7 million in Small Business Assistance, $1.5 million in the METCO loan program, and $1.3 million to the Future of Work Initiative with Microsoft, which includes anticipated grant funding.
- An initial $5 million in seed funding for the new West End Louisville Partnership, and a commitment for up to $5 million more on June 22, 2022, if $10 million is raised from private sources, triggering a state match of $10 million. The Partnership is a 20-year Tax Increment Financing District that will allow west Louisville residents to control a new source of funding for neighborhood projects.
- $10 million in the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and $3 million in down payment assistance, to help address income and wealth gaps between majority and minority communities by helping more Louisville families become homeowners.
- $6.5 million in housing and support services through the Office of Resilience and Community Services, including External Agency and Emergency Solutions Grant funds; around $1 million to house homeless people struggling with AIDS, and another $200,000 for Housing Connection funding to Neighborhood Place for helping people experiencing homelessness. That’s in addition to the $1.7 million directed toward Homeless and Housing Services as part of the midyear budget adjustment in January, and $11 million from the S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s HOME Investment Partnerships Program that the city will use to create more affordable housing options and services for people who are homeless or at risk.
- $3 million for Evolve502, and $1 million for SummerWorks, which, along with the Future of Work initiative, are meant to provide more pathways to opportunity, especially for the city’s youth.
- Over $55 million in paving and sidewalk repairs, and funds to expand efforts like the Clean Collaborative, which is helping revitalize city roadways and neighborhoods, along with graffiti removal and the upkeep of vacant lots.
- Also as part of this budget, the Louisville Free Public Library will stop collecting fines for overdue books and materials, citing information that shows young people and communities of color are hurt the most by the fines, left unable to utilize a critical resource.
When presenting his budget to Council in April, the Mayor noted the city is seeing positive economic signs – including an uptick in tourism and investment. But to be successful, he said, the city must invest to ensure its core business clusters thrive; that workforce skills align with the digital economy; and we improve the economic prospects for all residents, which means addressing that “while talent and potential are spread evenly throughout our city, opportunity and access are not.”
This budget does that, the Mayor said, in alignment with Build Back Better, Together, the city’s framework for creating an equitable recovery from the pandemic, including an economic ecosystem that builds, supports and encourages Black and Brown businesses and business owners, workers and communities.
To that end, the budget approved today includes $250,000 for the city’s new Equity in Procurement Task Force, which is working to close the community’s wealth gap by supporting Black-owned and Minority, Women and Disabled-owned Business Enterprises through supplier diversity initiatives, as well as investments in the Minority Business Incubator; and a new Louisville Forward staff position to focus specifically on business development in west Louisville.
The budget approved today also supports Mayor Fischer’s goal of thinking more broadly about how to create a safe city with fewer arrests and less incarceration for non-violent offenses, including investments in deflection and diversion, as well as community mobilization, prevention, intervention, organizational change, and re-entry.
“This budget makes significant investments in public safety, ranging from salary increases necessary to recruit and retain good police and corrections officers, to the very important violence prevention work being done throughout Louisville Metro Government, including our Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods,” said the Mayor, describing that as a “whole of government” and “whole of city” approach to public safety.
That includes $550,000 for the Group Violence Intervention initiative, launched late last year to divert people from the path of gun violence, incarceration and tragedy; as well as $500,000 for Reimage, a collaboration with KentuckianaWorks that’s helping to break the cycle of incarceration and recidivism by connecting justice-involved youth to education, training and careers in key fields such as IT, manufacturing, construction and more; and $600,000 for a new “reconciliation” program to build on the city’s work to improve relationships between Louisville Metro Police and the larger community they are sworn to serve and protect.
The Mayor said he appreciated the Council additions for infrastructure, Neighborhood Place and the library system, as well as its decision to pool the $1 million for council-designated priorities to fund programs run by community partners like Goodwill Industries, Volunteers of America, Family and Children's Place, the Center for Women and Families, and Catholic Charities.
“So many of the successes we’ve realized over the past 11 years have been built on partnerships, and I am thrilled to see these new initiatives funded,” the Mayor said. “Partnerships like those, and the partnership between my office and Metro Council – That’s how we move forward as a city.”