West End Opportunity Partnership held a meeting on Nov. 20, 2021.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The West End Opportunity Partnership was created by the Kentucky General Assembly after Gov. Andy Beshear signed House Bill 321 into law.

The bill would establish a tax increment financing, or TIF, district for nine western Louisville neighborhoods: Parkland; Shawnee; Park Duvalle; Russell; Portland; California; Chickasaw; Park Hill; and Algonquin.

If Louisville Metro government approves the TIF district, the West End board would control and direct a portion of future city and state tax revenues generated in that area on a wide range of potential projects in that area.

Once fully established, the board is expected to have 21 members. Nine of the members are appointed by institutions that include: the University of Louisville, Simmons College of Kentucky; the NAACP of Louisville; OneWest; the Federal Reserve’s Louisville branch; the Louisville Urban League; Volunteers of America Mid States; a local foundation; and a bank.

Kentucky’s governor has one appointment, as does Louisville’s mayor and the Metro Council. Nine members will be representatives of the neighborhoods in the TIF development area.

Metro government has agreed to provide $10 million in start-up funds. If the partnership raises $10 million from private sources by June 30, 2022, the state will contribute $10 million.

Under state law, the partnership would focus on projects supported by residents and businesses, encourage private investment in the area and “ensure that all projects include the employment of area residents” in both construction and long-term jobs. It also must guarantee that all housing developments have affordable aspects.

The partnership plans to begin seeking applications for its neighborhood members on Monday at westendpartners.org.

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