Metro Council freezes funding for embattled redevelopment - News, Weather & Sports

Metro Council freezes funding for embattled redevelopment

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Louisville Metro Council is taking action on a multi million dollar taxpayer funded revitalization project that has fallen apart.

At Thursday night's budget hearing the Louisville Metro Council unanimously passed an amendment effectively freezing $300,000 in next year's budget for Boxelder Crossing. The money won't be unfrozen until the Virginia Peck, the director of the city's Department of Community Services and Revitalization, the agency overseeing the project, testifies why so much as already been spent with so few results.

The grass that is waist high in some places, chest high in others. Right across the street from a row of taxpayer funded houses that was supposed to transform a run down neighborhood off Cane Run Road into a place called Boxelder Crossing.

In 2010, Louisville Metro got $3.5 million in federal and state funds to buy and demolish run-down properties along Boxelder Road then replace them with 38 new affordable homes to sell to mixed income families.

Only nine were built for an average taxpayer investment of $388,888 each. None of the homes which are marketed at between $120,000 to $130,000. have sold. Only three are being rented.

"It was a big project for this community," said Charlotte Baxter, who has lived on Boxelder Road for 40 years. "And now it just kind of died."

So Louisville Metro has now scrapped plans for the rest of the Boxelder Crossing rolling all those empty lots into another redevelopment project nearby. The additional $300,000 is to buy up even more properties to connect the two neighborhoods.

Peck was not available for an interview for our report. She issued a statement calling Boxelder "an ambitious project that is helping revitalize one of our most challenged neighborhoods." She also said, "I look forward to briefing the Council and citizens on the status of the Boxelder work and its future."

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