Metro leaders announce steps “to further invest in the health of our city” with 4th round of federal ARP spending

April 26, 2022

Mayor Greg Fischer today was joined by Metro Councilmembers to outline an ordinance proposing to spend $87.4 million of the city’s share of federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) dollars on projects that range from opening two new libraries to investments in childcare and early learning, as well as in parks, pools and public health.

“Today, we are taking steps to further invest in the health of our city,” the Mayor said. “These investments will benefit every part of our community, but especially those most in need of support.”

Those investments include:

  • Improvements to the Louisville Free Public Library system, including $8 million to go to expansion of the historic Main branch downtown, an expansion of the Portland Library, and opening of new libraries in Fern Creek and Parkland.
  • Investments in parks and pools across the city.
  • A public safety investment of $8.5 million in the city’s Office of Youth Development to help youth better access services and programs.
  • $7.5 million for early learning and childcare projects that will expand access and improve quality of programs for young children, helping mitigate COVID-19 development delays.
  • $1 million to address the tragic issues that lead paint continues to cause for residents in the city and $2 million to implement an electronic health records system, including telehealth capacity, to help the Louisville Metro Public Health & Wellness team better serve the community.
  • Nearly $12.6 million to continue the city’s response to COVID-19, including life-saving vaccinations.
  • $2.5 million for comprehensive re-entry employment services.
  • $7 million to advance construction of student housing for Simmons College.
  • $2 million to improve or provide broadband access.
  • $10 million to remediate the old Rhodia brownfield in the Park Hill neighborhood to make it again a productive site.

“Altogether, these investments represent transformational changes in neighborhoods throughout Louisville,” the Mayor said, “an opportunity to convert a list of ‘hopes’ into reality for our residents.”

Metro Council Budget Committee Chairman Bill Hollander said, “I’m grateful to the many Council members who have attended dozens of meetings to review proposals and offer comments, and the many groups and city departments that submitted proposals. Even with these extraordinary funds, we have more good ideas than dollars to implement them. But the American Rescue Plan is helping us move forward in priority areas the Council established after much community input.”

Louisville Metro Government (LMG) last year was allocated $388 million in ARP Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, approved by Congress to meet the most urgent needs of communities across the country as they rebuild from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The ordinance announced today outlines a fourth round of ARP spending proposed by Mayor Fischer and Metro Council – and is based on priority areas that the Mayor and Metro Council agreed on for ARP spending: Public Safety; Public Health; Homelessness and Affordable Housing; Workforce Development; and Healthy Louisville/Healthy Neighborhoods.

The first round of spending went to COVID-related emergency needs, including $45.2 million for Public Health and eviction prevention, and was approved by Metro Council in June 2021. The second round, approved by Council in November 2021, focused on critical initiatives to address public safety challenges and homelessness, build more affordable housing for the community, continue to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, and recognize the efforts of public employees.

And a third round, approved as part of the year-end budget adjustments in December 2021, included hiring incentives for the city’s public safety agencies.

 

Next Steps

The full list of proposed expenditures for this fourth round of ARP spending can be found here.

This ordinance will be heard and considered by the Metro Council Budget Committee on May 12, 2022. Assuming the ordinance passes out of committee, it could be voted on by the full Council on May 19, 2022.

“I want to thank Metro Council, my team and the community partners who’ve shared their thoughts throughout this ARP allocation process,” the Mayor said, as well as federal partners “for recognizing that cities and local communities are where the rubber meets the road for so many of the services people rely on, during the fight against COVID-19, long before and long after. With these investments, we can take a substantive leap toward a healthier Louisville.”

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