Mayor's plan to lease new building for LMPD headquarters gets mi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Mayor's plan to lease new building for LMPD headquarters gets mixed reaction from Metro Council

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Extra cash for the city of Louisville could mean a new headquarters for LMPD, if Mayor Greg Fischer has his way.

Less spending combined with higher-than-expected revenue means the city of Louisville has more than $6 million in extra money to spend.

Some of that could come to LMPD for a new building, but there are questions

LMPD's current headquarters has been around since the 1950s. WDRB has previously revealed serious problems in the building, including water and sewer leaks, and mold.

Also, the old jail on the top floor of the already overcrowded building is sometimes used to house overflow inmates from Metro Corrections.

“They've been in need of a new LMPD headquarters due to rapid deterioration of the building that they're in,” said Metro Council member David James (D-6th District).

James, a former LMPD officer and chair of the Public Safety Committee, likes Mayor Fischer's proposal to spend roughly $2 million in surplus funds on a new home for LMPD.

“They've had the issues with the jail being upstairs and all the sewage from upstairs flowing into the offices of the employees there," he said. So, it's desperately needed."

But council member Angela Leet says Mayor Fischer's plan caught her off guard.

Leet is vice chair of the council’s budget committee and says Fischer never mentioned a new LMPD building as a priority during budget talks earlier this year.

“This is a repeat of behavior where we haven't heard about it, and then all of the sudden it's upon us and have to hurry up a make a decision,” said Leet (R-7th Dist.)

Mayor Fischer's plan calls for leasing a new building.

Sources told WDRB that the United Building at 7th and Chestnut Streets downtown is a leading candidate.

But no matter where, Leet says the city should consider buying, not leasing.

“To me, LMPD is a function that we know is never going to go away. So, they should probably live in a home that we own and maintain as a city,” she said.

James says his priority is the location.

“I think it should be someplace downtown ... someplace easily accessible by the citizens,” he said.

Mayor Fischer also wants to spend about $100,000 on a new team to work neighborhood streets and prevent violent crime.

The proposals must be approved by Metro Council, and James indicates there will be changes to the mayor’s proposal.

The mayor was out of town on Thursday and not available to comment.

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