Mayor Fischer says Louisvillians have 80,000 ideas to improve city
Last year, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer launched "Vision Louisville," a program inviting citizens to share their opinions on how the city of Louisville can be improved.
"There were really bold ideas: building a swimming lake in Portland, creating sandy beaches along the banks of the Ohio, to basic ideas -- bike lanes, better public transportation -- to fun ideas, to "Star Wars" park," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said.
Sunday, March 9 2014 8:35 PM EDT2014-03-10 00:35:58 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- What kind of city will Louisville be 25 years from now?
During a news conference at Metro Hall Tuesday morning, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said he's gotten a lot of ideas. Last year, the mayor launched "Vision Louisville," a program inviting citizens to share their opinions. Those ideas were gathered and the mayor now says it is time to prioritize them, from practical to bold.
"This past summer, we set an ambitious goal to get 45,000 citizen ideas about the future of our city. We instead received 80,000," Fischer said. "Now it's time to prioritize key projects that will truly transform our city and make a business case for funding and building them."
Vision Louisville is a project aimed at developing a 25-year vision for the city's built environment that was launched in August 2012 with three planned phases.
During the first phase, the city examined trends that are happening in cities around the world and considered current and future demographic data for Louisville. During the second phase, organizers gathered ideas from the public through a variety of methods including social media, utilizing the website visionlouisville.com, and holding town hall meetings. In the project's third phase, which starts Tuesday, projects are being prioritized, costs are being considered, and funding sources are being identified.
Mayor Fischer was hoping to receive 45,000 ideas from the citizens, but instead received 80,000.
The mayor said the initial 80,000 ideas are a good starting point for improving Louisville. "There are bold ideas, such as building a swimming lake in Portland," he said. "There are practical ideas, such as more bike lanes. And there are far-out ideas, such as ziplines over the Ohio. What they have in common is that they all came from citizens who care deeply about the future of our city." Other submitted ideas include improving public transportation, creating sandy beaches along the Ohio River, and a Star Wars theme park.
The mayor said the Vision Louisville team is working with city partners to identify promising ideas in three categories; short-term initiatives that can be accomplished in 1-5 years, mid-term initiatives that will take 5 to 10 years to complete, and long-term initiatives that will take 25 years and beyond to finish.
Mayor Fischer said business plans, including likely costs and potential funding sources, will be developed for these ideas.
One of those sources, Fischer said, is the temporary local option sales tax, which is the city's top priority for the 2014 state legislative session.
The local option sales tax would allow cities and counties across the state to implement up to a 1% sales tax, with the money generated going toward specific capital projects voted on by citizens. The tax would only be implemented if the citizens of the county voted in favor of the tax and, if approved, the tax would cease once the projects are completed.
The city has already started pursuing two ideas that were frequently cited as short-term goals, including creating gigabit fiber internet in Louisville and developing a more robust transportation network through the Move Louisville project.