Louisville Metro Council passes budget for 2015-2016 fiscal year - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville Metro Council passes budget for 2015-2016 fiscal year

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The budget passed the council in a 25-1 vote. Councilwoman Mary Woolridge was the only nay vote. The budget passed the council in a 25-1 vote. Councilwoman Mary Woolridge was the only nay vote.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – After several weeks of debate Louisville Metro Council has passed an amended version of the 2015-2016 fiscal year budget.

The three most hotly debated issues in Mayor Greg Fischer's next fiscal year budget, which was initially presented to Metro Council on May 28th, were Louisville Metro Police's body camera program, a needle exchange program for Metro Louisville and road repaving issues.

The budget includes the requested $2.8 million for LMPD body cameras and $200,000 for the needle exchange program.

In the first version of the budget, Mayor Fischer allocated $8.1 million to road paving and improvements. After debate in committee, Metro Council added an additional $5,294,358 to road paving bringing the total to $13,375,000. Of that amount, $3,050,358 will be allocated to Metro Public Works for repaving. $1,950,000 will be divided amongst the 26 council districts for neighborhood street repairs. The remaining $275,000 will be Council designated funds.

All roads funded will first have to be approved by the Metro Council Appropriations Committee if those roads are not already designated for improvement in the FY16 capital budget.

In addition, monthly reports will have to be submitted to Metro Council by Public Works outlining the schedule for the re-pavement of those roads.

In order to fund the additional $5,294,358 the principal amount of the 2015 B Bond will be increased from $10,000,000 to $15,000,000. District 19 councilwoman (R) Julie Denton initially opposed the increase in bond principal. She says council needs to find a more permanent solution to road funding. It was repeated several times at Metro Council that this funding is for only one year.

For future road funding, Council discussed the possibility of applying the franchise fee from LG&E to further fund road improvements. LG&E's franchise fee will be renegotiated and reviewed by Metro Council in November.

The budget also includes $2.1 million for City Hall improvements, $4,933,000 for repairs for various Metro buildings and $1.6 million in parks maintenance.

In a statement following the vote, Mayor Greg Fischer said the following : I appreciate the Metro Council's careful consideration and bipartisan cooperation the past month on the city's most important policy document -- the budget.

This $880 million spending plan, One Louisville, strengthens the physical, economical, educational and social connections across Louisville and makes a variety of strategic investments, from police body cameras to construction of the SouthCentral Regional Library to affordable housing -- all without raising taxes.

It also makes more than $18 million of investments in road pavings, sidewalk repairs and bike lanes -- the largest amount since my administration began -- and it includes funding to grow jobs and the economy. This budget addresses the largest amount of community needs since the recession, and I look forward to implementing it.

Mayor Fischer will now have to sign off on the final version of the budget. He has until June 30th to do that.

More: Metro Council approves $13M for road repairs; double last year's budget

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