Metro Council approves $13M for road repairs; double last year's budget
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Metro Council members say enough is enough -- city roads are falling apart and need to be fixed.
Tuesday night, members voted to use more than $13 million to fix our streets, which is double what the city spent last year
Visitors and residents alike say the roads are terrible, uneven and filled with potholes.
"They're not smooth,” said Louisville resident Beth Hasson. “It's really a bumpy ride almost anywhere you go, and there shouldn't be potholes this late in the season."
"River Road is unbelievable,” said Roxann Burress of Louisville. “It's like really uncomfortable to ride on."
Even Metro Council members say they need work.
"We all know, there's not anybody in this community that doesn't know the roads are not in good shape," said councilman Kelly Downard.
Tuesday night, the Metro Council Budget Committee approved the Operations and Capital Budgets for Metro Government that included money for paving and road improvements. An issue so important -- they doubled last year's amount.
"We have a terrible problem right now,” said Downard. “It needs to be doubled, it needed to be tripled we just couldn't find it (the money)."
In his budget, Mayor Greg Fischer proposed $8.1 million for paving and road improvements. But Metro Council decided that wasn't enough and added about $5.3 million -- bringing the total investment to nearly $13.4 million.
Out of that $13 million, Metro Council members want Public Works to spend $200,000 to reevaluate the roads and come up with a new ratings system. That way they can prioritize the paving so the worst roads are fixed first.
Councilman Downard says they found the extra $5 million by delaying bond payments.
"In your mortgage, you close your mortgage and you say 'I don't want to make a payment this month, I want to make it at the end of next month,' and they say ‘yes'. That's what we're gonna do -- push it back two months."
Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton says our poor roads send a bad message to visitors.
"We can do better. We're a first class city,” said Bryant Hamilton. “We deserve to put our best foot forward and our best streets forward and we can do that."
Starting in July, Public Works will give council members a monthly report and every road that needs fixed has to be identified by December 31st.
The city budget is up for final approval on Thursday.