People pack Metro Council for public budget crisis meeting

People pack Metro Council for public budget crisis meeting
People lined up to speak at the Metro Council public meeting on Thursday. (Source: Metro TV)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - People packed Louisville Metro Council chambers on Thursday night to sound off on the city’s budget crisis.

Mayor Greg Fischer says rising pension obligations have created a $65 million shortfall over the next four years.

There are two options on the table -- deep budget cuts or a tax increase on most types of insurance.

A total of 42 speakers addressed the council.

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Some represented public agencies that could face budget cuts.

“A fire department that is not properly staffed is like driving under the influence,” Louisville Professional Firefighters President Brian O’Neil said. “You might get away with it some of the time, but all of the time you are in grave danger and so is everyone around you.”

There’s another chance for the community to weigh in at a public hearing on Monday, March 4 at 6 p.m.

Members of the public who wish to speak at the meeting must sign up at least one hour before it starts. Each person will have three minutes to make comments.

Residents can also submit questions to the Budget Committee online using this form.

All questions should be submitted by March 6 to allow for responses to be posted online by March 14. That’s when the next committee meeting will be.

General information on the budget cuts, pension contributions and the proposed insurance premium tax can be found here.

The council must vote on the proposed tax hike by March 21.

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