Mayor Fischer talks highs and lows of 2017

Mayor Fischer talks highs and lows of 2017

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE 3) - Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said "progress" would be the word he'd use to describe 2017.

Fischer said the city invested at least 12 billion dollars in Louisville during 2017. Approximately 800 million of those dollars were invested specifically in West Louisville, according to Fischer.

"Google Fiber was launched in West Louisville, the Gigabit Experience Center was launched in West Louisville both sides of 18th and Broadway with Passport on the West side and YMCA on the east side," said Fischer.

Plans were announced for a $200 million Butchertown Soccer Stadium. Churchill Downs planned for 32 million dollars in improvements around the track and a historical racing machine facility. And ResCare invested 34 million dollars in a new Louisville headquarters.

In West Louisville, the Russell neighborhood was in the middle of a major transformation; 60 new jobs were created in Park Hill, and 500 jobs were created at 18th and Broadway at the Passport Health Plan headquarters.

Another plus for the mayor in 2017 was a strong partnership with the Jefferson County School System, headed up by interim JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio.

"He certainly doesn't act interim anything, and he keeps pushing forward in making sure that all kids achieve in the community," said Fischer. "He's been a good partner to us and I appreciate that."

Although juvenile crime was in the spotlight during 2017, Mayor Fischer said crime in all areas was down this year. Investments like ShotSpotter, body cameras and the Real Time Crime Center helped to improve public safety, Fischer said.

Arrests, investigations, terminations and more legal action related to allegations of sexual abuse within the Louisville Metro Police Department's LMPD Explorer Program plagued the city throughout 2017. Fischer said they're taking steps to hold the perpetrators accountable.

Mayor Fischer said challenges for Louisville will come at the state and federal level, like pension reform.

"I applaud the state for taking it on but the preliminary numbers they're giving the cities and counties throughout the commonwealth in terms of how much the increase will be for the pensions will be very difficult," Fischer explained.

The year of 2017 ended in tragedy with the death of metro government employee Trent Haines, who died in a machinery accident.

Mayor Fischer said Louisville can expect a renaissance in 2018.

"When you take a look at where we're at today, it's very exciting, but it's even more exciting when we take a look at 2018," said Fischer.

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