Mayor proposes balanced city budget and investments - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Mayor proposes balanced city budget and investments

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Mayor Greg Fischer Mayor Greg Fischer

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The city is crunching numbers. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced his budget for the new fiscal year which is not only balanced, but continues to invest. The spending plan is a total of $716.2 million.

The mayor and the council said they've heard plenty of concerns about making Louisville more walkable and bikeable. One of the ways he's planning on doing that is spending a big chunk of change, $6.4 million, for paving roads and creating 28 new miles of bike lanes. The new bike lanes would link the University of Louisville campus to Old Louisville and to downtown.

Fischer proposed a balanced budget on Monday for the new fiscal year that does not raise taxes and there are no layoffs. Improved revenues and controlled expenses allowed for investments.

"That's been done through overtime reduction and not replacing employees when they leave and spreading out those duties to other as well," said Fischer.

Money saved goes towards other needs in the city, like investing significantly in public safety.

"Public safety gets the most dollars in this budget," said Fischer.

Approximately 60 percent of the city's $528 million general fund budget is spent on public safety. Seventy new recruits will be coming to the Louisville Metro Police Department, 45 to 60 new recruits in the Metro Department of Corrections, and old LMPD vehicles will be replaced. Improving emergency medical services, like buying 15 ambulances and paramedic training, is also in the budget.

The city also wants to invest in people and our neighborhoods. Included in that is revitalizing parks and improvements at the Northern Overlook at Iroquois Park.

Eye sores in our community like abandoned and vacant properties are also a major concern. The new budget hires a Vacant and Abandoned Properties coordinator and recognized the Community Services and Revitalization staff to create a VAP team - making sure efforts to address the vacant and abandoned property issues are leveraged in one place. In addition, the city will hire new positions in the county attorney's office to expedite foreclosures.

The city is also increasing funding to community ministries by 21 percent, which provide food and assistance to low income families. There are also plans on redesigning the city website to make it easy to use on smart phones.

In presenting his third city budget, Fischer said the city has reduced the $22 million structural imbalance that existed when he took office in 2011 to $7 million.

"This budget has no new taxes, no layoffs, no service cuts," said Fischer. "We're trying to be more efficient here."

The mayor presented his budget plan to the Metro Council, which will spend the next month reviewing it before a final vote in late June. The new fiscal year begins July 1.

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