What programs could get a budget boost or cut by Louisville Metro Council?
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Louisville Metro Council will soon decide how the money it controls will be spent over the next fiscal year.
Several days ago, some changes were made to the mayor's proposal, but council members must still vote to approve the overall plan on Tuesday night.
A list of changes was distributed by a democratic caucus spokesperson. It included the following items:
- Library Funding - "Preserves jobs at the Main Library and funds full staffing at the new Northeast Regional Library and the expansion of the St. Matthews Library. Requires Budget Committee approval of proposed renovations to the Main Library, including any changes to space utilization, staffing and services. ($265,000 increase in proposed budget to LFPL)."
- Food Security - "Doubling proposed funding to Dare to Care for general operations to a total of $200,000, and more than tripling proposed funding to New Roots to $70,000 (an increase of $100,000 for Dare to Care and $50,000 to New Roots)."
- Funding for the Living Room program - "Diverting individuals from the jail and emergency rooms, at $1,000,000 and requires monthly reporting by Centerstone on usage and outcomes. ($350,000 increase in proposed budget)."
- Metro graffiti abatement - "Doubles program run by Codes and Regulation, providing for additional vehicles and personnel to operate them, beginning in February 2019."
- YMCA projects - "Increases funding for the development of the new YMCA at 18th & Broadway by $50,000, bringing the total to $300,000."
- Parks - "$200,000 for Phase III of Charlie Vettiner Park; $75,000 to be matched by the Louisville Parks Foundation for soccer fields at William Harrison and Wyandotte Parks; and $50,000 for Quail Chase Golf Course."
- Waterfront Development - "Increases funding for Waterfront Development Corporation by $50,000, bringing Metro’s contribution to Waterfront Park to $1,037,000, to address an operating deficit and to provide for increased restroom cleaning in the park."
- Impound lot funds - "Allocates $1,000,000 for improvements at the Impound Lot (a reduction of $1,000,000 in the proposed amount due to timing issues on the need for the funds)."
- Other - "Maintains other recommended funding for paving, sidewalk repair and construction, LMPD, the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, Heritage West, Parks, the Zoo and other projects and services."
The markets organized by New Roots weren't open Monday, but employees were still hard at work.
"Our main initiative is the Fresh Stop Market," New Roots executive director, Karyn Moskowitz, said. "These are fresh food markets that pop up every week."
Markets are located in 17 different locations throughout Kentucky and Indiana, with the goal of giving all people fresh, healthy food despite where they live or how much money they make.
That service almost saw the end of its days.
"The funds from Metro Council were literally lifesaving for our organization," Moskowitz said.
Moskowitz said her largest funder had stopped giving, but a near tripling of proposed funding to the group -- at $70,000 -- was approved at a Metro Budget Committee meeting Thursday.
That money will meet half of the groups needs and grassroot efforts will fund the rest.
But not all of the budget suggestions that came before the committee Thursday were without debate.
"Some issues related to the jail and the area above the police headquarters that we happen to put people in right now because we're running out of space," Council President David James noted.
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It's one point of contention James anticipated before the meeting.
"There are some council members that feel very strongly that we shouldn't put people there and that we spend too much money putting people there," James said.
Ultimately, an amendment proposed by Councilman Brent Ackerson to stop funding of the overflow jail space was defeated in committee Thursday with a vote of 4 to 7. Now another solution will have to be found.
A democratic caucus spokesperson said amendments can be proposed at the Tuesday meeting at 6 p.m., but its likely what the budget committee passed will also be passed by the Metro Council.
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