Louisville Metro Council passes ordinance to allocate $10 millio - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville Metro Council passes ordinance to allocate $10 million surplus

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Louisville Metro Council is moving forward with a plan to allocate nearly $10 million in surplus.

“There’s been a good discussion among council members on their priorities are,” District 9 councilman (D) Bill Hollander said.

Metro Council’s budget committee passed an ordinance that split the money up, sending it to different areas of the city. 

·        $5.25 million goes to road paving (the original plan called for $3.65 million)

·        $1 million for renovations at the  St. Matthews Library

·        $500,000 for an expansion at The Healing Place

·        $350,000 for the Louisville Urban League

“Ultimately, people have to compromise and come up with what they think is best for the community, and I think this addresses all kinds of needs,” Hollander  said.

However, District 26 councilman (D) Brent Ackerson disagrees with spreading the money around. He wants to spend all $9.9 million on repaving.

“We’ve got a $122 million deficit, and that is due to our under-funding infrastructure when it comes to roads,” Ackerson said.

He says roads in Louisville are failing and need immediate repair.

“If you think the roads stink, well they do,” he told councilmembers on Thursday. “They're going to continue to stink. Public works says we need $15.6 million a year to keep it at the stinky level it is now.”

With the $5.2 million added to $13.2 million originally allocated during the June budgetary process, it brings the total to be spent on paving this year to nearly $18.5 million. According to Louisville Metro Public Works, in order to maintain the current conditions of roads the city would have to spend nearly $15.7 million a year.

“Twenty-seven percent of our roads are failing,” Ackerson said. “We all know it because we all drive those roads.”

The original proposal on how best to spend the purpose called for $250,000 to OneWest Louisville. In the new plan, that money was cut and is instead headed to Louisville Urban League’s housing program.

Councilmembers (D) Mary Woolridge (D-3) and (D) Jessica Green (D-1) both wanted more money for organizations in Louisville’s west end.

“I am insulted, and I am appalled that west Louisville has to continue to fight for $250,000,” Woolridge said.

District 16 Councilman (R) Kelly Downard, who was absent from the last budget committee meeting, agrees with Ackerson, saying most of the surplus should go to road paving.

“I think I can come up with $2.5 million,” Downard said. “Maybe as much as ($4 million), and that would allow us to do all the things on here and do paving.”

Downard said he would work on the budget over the next week and present his findings to Metro Council next Thursday.

Mayor Fischer praised the passage of the ordinance by the budget committee, saying in a statement, “I appreciate the budget committee’s consideration of how to spend this money and look forward to a full vote by the Metro Council at its next meeting.  The committee's recommendations largely mirror the original proposal, which tried to balance needs across the community.”

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