Louisville Metro Council approves plan to put most of $10 M surp - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville Metro Council approves plan to put most of $10 M surplus towards road paving

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Metro Council approved a plan to allocate nearly $10 million in surplus Thursday night.

Metro Council’s budget committee passed an ordinance last week 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

However Councilman Kelly Downard proposed an amendment to the plan Thursday night to put $2.5 million more toward a total of $8 million for road paving. It also includes adding a quarter of a million dollars to repairs at the zoo, for a total of $500,000.

Most of that money is coming from the Quality Charity Trust Fund, which is used to use to pay for healthcare for people who don't have insurance at U of L hospital.

The amendment passed 14 to 11, while the budget passed the overall council 25 to 1.

“This is a very well thought out plan to address many of the needs that have fallen to the side during the lean years of the recession.  Using half on infrastructure such as roads and sidewalks balance with maintaining all metro assets with capital repairs in a balanced plan;” said Councilwoman Marianne Butler (D-15), who Chairs the Budget Committee. “We have a fiduciary responsibility to look at the whole and fairly address the needs of our community.”

District 26 councilman (D) Brent Ackerson disagreed with spreading the money around. He wanted to spend all $9.9 million on repaving. He argued roads in Louisville are failing and need immediate repair.

“This plan represents a thoughtful approach that will maximize the available surplus dollars and take a step toward addressing our city’s serious infrastructure needs as well as allocating funding for other important community assets,”  Councilwoman Angela Lee, (R-7) who is Budget Vice Chair.

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.

The original proposal on how best to spend the surplus called for $250,000 to OneWest Louisville. In the plan approved Thursday, that money was cut and is instead headed to Louisville Urban League’s housing program with an additional $100,000 bringing to total to $350,000.

Other budget recommendations include:

  • $1,000,000 St. Matthews Library Improvements – matched by the city of St. Matthews for a total of $4.5 million for expansion of the library
  • $400,000 Summer Works Youth Employment Program
  • $500,000 Louisville Zoo for General Repairs
  • $500,000 Dixie Highway TIGER Grant – part of a $17 million grant
  • $500,000 Healing Place Capital Campaign
  • $500,000 Central Business District Sidewalk Repairs – match of a state grant for an overall total of $2 million for repairs
  • $350,000 to the Rebound Project of the Louisville Urban League
  • $500,000 for LMPD Division 2 roof

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