Mayor thanks Council for partnership in approving mid-year spending plan to address pressing city needs
Mayor Greg Fischer thanked the Louisville Metro Council today for its partnership in approving a mid-year spending adjustment to immediately address pressing needs in the community, including improvements to public safety, cleaning and revitalizing downtown, as well as funding for homeless assistance, and youth outreach efforts.
“I’m pleased that we are starting 2021 by tackling some of our challenges with much-needed, immediate improvements to make our city safer, healthier and more equitable,” said the Mayor, who also welcomed two new Council members, Jecorey Arthur, 4th District, and Cassie Chambers Armstrong, District 8, and congratulated members taking Council leadership roles.
The $3.9 million spending plan is encompassed in two ordinances sponsored by Council President David James and Council Members Keisha Dorsey, Bill Hollander, and Markus Winkler, as well as former Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith: a $2.2 million operating budget amendment and a capital amendment of $1.7 million.
It includes some changes from a proposal the Mayor made late last year, including adjustments in funding for homeless assistance, and removal of funding for the Kentucky Science Center, pending clarity on whether the facility will qualify for federal COVID-19 relief funding.
The operating amendment, which comes from$26 million carried forward from FY20 into FY21 for pandemic response and community needs, will provide:
$1,000,000 for the city’s Clean Collaborative effort, including funds to increase Public Works’ staffing for community clean-ups, street sweeping and graffiti removal, and funding to expand the Downtown Louisville Partnership’s cleanup work.
$350,000 for the Office for Safe & Healthy Neighborhoods to hire youth outreach specialists and to assist the Group Violence Initiative (GVI),a partnership with the US Attorney’s Office to address the racial disparities and inequitable impact of violence in our community.
$250,000 to address areas of need in homeless assistance efforts, as identified by a Louisville Metro Government gap analysis.
$583,700 for Codes & Regulations to increase vacant lot mowing and graffiti removal.
The capital amendment will cover fleet purchases in Public Works and in Codes and Regulations to carry out the services included in the mid-year operating budget amendment, including trucks for a homeless outreach team.
Council President James said, “I’m very pleased that the Council was able to work with the Mayor’s office to bring forward much-needed funding and programs to address homelessness, mental health, deflection, cleanliness of our city and public safety.”
Councilman Hollander, D-9, said, "The measures approved today address concerns we see throughout the community as the pandemic continues – increasing violent crime, more people without housing, additional litter, and vacant and abandoned properties that are not properly maintained. We need to address all of these issues to be a community that is safe, healthy and clean, and today’s vote is recognition of that.”