Metro Council approves budget; includes new cuts - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Metro Council approves budget; includes new cuts

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The total for the capital and operating budgets approved Thursday night was a little more than $688 million.

The new budget did include some new cuts.

At the start of the council meeting, residents made one last plea to council members about items that needed more funding.

"It's not more police we need. It's better starts for our children," one man said to council members.

Metro Council members then went on to discuss the Mayor's proposed budget, which originally included a three percent LG&E fee on natural gas, to in turn give more money to public safety.

In early June, council members voted instead for a two percent fee and had to find ways to make up for the money.

"We cut $1.8 million out of the franchise fee. What do we cut? A lot of things had to be cut. Those are hard decisions," said Councilman Kelly Downard of District 16.

Some items that were cut in the newly approved budget include $300,000 from police overtime, $200,000 from youth programs, $300,000 from the Family Health Centers and $100,000 from LIHEAP funds.

Not all council members supported the cuts.

"When you look at the budget in terms of raising our debt and not really going after those particular needs out there and funding more of the wants, I had a problem with that," said Councilman Ken Fleming of District 7.

Democrat Brent Ackerson also voted against the budget, saying that council members were adding money in bonds and bank notes.

He says this will hurt metro council in the future.

"I feel like the first time in my six years on this council that we have lost sight of the long-term focus," said Councilman Brent Ackerson of District 26.

Mayor Greg Fischer issued this statement late Thursday evening:

"I appreciate the Council’s collaborative approach to the new budget. For the past four years, we’ve worked to create a budget that is both realistic and that reflects the values of our community including important investments this year in public safety, youth development, public infrastructure and neighborhoods. Together, we have moved Louisville forward."


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