city budget en Listen: In News Special, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer Discusses Downtown Violence, Walmart and More <p>Mayor Greg Fischer joined us &nbsp;Monday afternoon for an hour-long call-in special. He discussed the <a href="">city budget</a>, downtown violence (and the <a href="">alleged racial profiling</a> that followed in its wake), and other recent developments in Louisville.</p><p>Listen below:</p> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 19:20:20 +0000 Laura Ellis 9675 at Listen: In News Special, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer Discusses Downtown Violence, Walmart and More Louisville Public Works 'Budget Glitch' for Junk Pickup, Street Sweeping Dismissed <p>A plan by the Louisville Metro Council to bring back a pair of junk pickup and street sweepings in the Urban Services District will go forward despite reports that a "budget glitch" made restoration impossible.</p><p>The city used to offer those urban services four times a year within the old city limits, but the cleaning days were cut to two in 2009 as a result of the recession.</p><p>Several <a href="">council members voiced frustration with Mayor Greg Fischer's administration for not using the budget surplus</a> this year to put those services back. This June, the council allocated $400,000 to restore the pickup and sweeping, but the <a href="">Public Works Department said last week it could not move the money</a> necessary to follow the council's vote.</p><p>Public Works spokeswoman Lindsay English tells WFPL the department may have spoken too soon.</p><p>"It appeared that there was a technicality, however, that information was incorrect and the money is there," she says. "So now what Public Works is planning to do is review how we can best spend that money to help restore some of those services and investigating what the best way to spend that money will be. And we will be reporting back to Metro Council on a proposal by the end of September." Mon, 08 Jul 2013 16:14:00 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 6039 at Louisville Public Works 'Budget Glitch' for Junk Pickup, Street Sweeping Dismissed Following Cuts in Mayor's Budget Plan, Non-Profits Ask Louisville Metro Council for More Funding <p>The Louisville Metro Council heard from over three-dozen organizations that were cut in Mayor Greg Fischer’s proposed budget.</p><p>Speakers representing ministerial foundations, arts groups and other non-profit agencies implored city lawmakers to add needed funding for their programs, which provide various charitable services.</p><p>Among those who presented their case before the council was Charles King, who is president and CEO of Project One President, which a summer jobs program for Louisville youth.</p><p>Joined by dozens of teenage participants, King says despite passing accredited reviews and receiving $80,000 from the city last year, Fischer’s proposal allocated nothing for the group in his new spending plan.</p><p>"The zero funding could not come at a worse time," he says. "Violence is rampant in our communities, and summer jobs represent violence reduction and public safety. Teen unemployment is at 24 percent and in impoverished communities it’s nearing 50 percent."</p><p> Fri, 14 Jun 2013 03:00:53 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 5770 at Following Cuts in Mayor's Budget Plan, Non-Profits Ask Louisville Metro Council for More Funding Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s Budget Emphasizes Higher Growth, Road Funding <p>Presenting the Louisville Metro Council and residents with his third budget, Mayor Greg Fischer unveiled a new spending plan which includes additional funding for the city’s roads and infrastructure.</p><p>The <span id="PageBodyContent"><a href="" target="_blank">2013-14 budget</a></span> avoids any tax increases, employee layoffs or service cuts due in large part to higher than anticipated revenue and curbs to spending.</p><p>Metro Government has a $528 million general fund and has seen significant budget shortfalls in recent years.</p><p>In the coming fiscal year officials expect a $3.3 million surplus due to the city's occupational tax rising by about 3 percent, a 2.5 percent increase in the insurance premium tax and business profit taxes are expected to increase by 6 percent. The Fischer administration was also able to cut expenditures by not replacing retiring employees, reducing overtime pay by $1.5 million and lowering the structural imbalance by $15 million.</p><p>But one of the chief items the mayor's office is bragging about is putting $6.4 million towards paving roads and creating biking lanes. The city has spent on average $2.5 annually on infrastructure since city-county merger, which is well below the needed $8 to 10 million council members request and others argue the Public Works department requires.</p><p>Fischer says the city still has a financial imbalance and pension obligations, adding officials will have to watch every dollar. But the mayor believes an improved economy has allowed for his administration to make needed infrastructure improvements.</p><p>"There's been a little bit of relief and we have good control on our expenses with cost reductions as well. And that's going to allow us to make some investments that we haven't been able to make in the last couple of years, in particular with some road improvements and more bike lanes," he says. Mon, 20 May 2013 19:55:00 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 5473 at Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s Budget Emphasizes Higher Growth, Road Funding Council Approves City Budget After Contentious Debate Over Whiskey Row Funding <p>The Louisville Metro Council passed a city budget for the upcoming fiscal year Thursday, but not before a contentious debate about the Whiskey Row development.</p><p>Mayor Greg Fischer submitted a spending plan that included a $500,000 allocation for private developers&mdash;among them philanthropist Christy Brown, the widow of former chairman of the Brown-Forman Corp, Owsley Brown II&mdash;to restore the historic string of buildings along West Main Street.</p><p>The mayor had proposed using the money to create a revolving fund to help restore historic properties beginning with Whiskey Row, but a bipartisan group of council members argued Metro Government had already provided investors with a $1.5 million forgivable loan for the project.</p><p>The <a href="/post/budget-committee-approves-city-spending-plan-upcoming-fiscal-year">budget committee approved language in the ordinance on Wednesday that required developers to reimburse the city $1 million</a> if the Whiskey Row buildings were later sold. But Fischer&#39;s office argued it was an unprecedented step by the council that could jeopardize the original agreement.</p><p>Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh, D-9, introduced an amendment to take that wording out of the final ordinance, but allow lawmakers to hold the money until Fischer renegotiates the deal. &nbsp;She says lawmakers unfairly tied the mayor&#39;s hands to negotiate.</p><p>&quot;I&#39;m asking you to allow the mayor do his job and negotiate a deal, and when he brings it over if you don&#39;t like it then don&#39;t vote for it,&quot; she said. &quot;Let&#39;s debate it at that time because we&#39;re not doing it tonight. This really isn&#39;t about debating the merits of rich folks spending money on preservation or not. If anything, this is a power and money grab by the Metro Council.&quot;</p><p> Fri, 22 Jun 2012 02:16:31 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 746 at Budget Committee Approves City Spending Plan for Upcoming Fiscal Year <p>The Louisville Metro Council&#39;s Budget Committee passed a spending plan for the upcoming 2012-13 fiscal year by a unanimous vote.</p><p>Mayor Greg <a href="">Fischer submitted his budget proposal to the council earlier this month</a>, which had been criticized for its lack of funding to external agencies and<a href=""> hammered for cuts to indigent care</a> at University Hospital.</p><p>Similar to last year, the council reallocated nearly $3 million in funds and added over $400,000 to non-profit groups for their programing.</p><p>City lawmakers were able to come up with those additional funds in part through an agreement with the Parking Authority of River City to make a payment of $300,000 in cash this year with additional payments of $150,000 over the next five fiscal years.</p><p>These additional funds were requested by council members who raised questions about a <a href="">late transfer and payment for the two county parking garages</a> that the city never received.&nbsp;</p><p>The budget also includes money to focus on dealing with the problem of abandoned and vacant properties with close to $40,000 in funds being spent to mow grass at vacant lots throughout the city. Wed, 20 Jun 2012 23:58:00 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 728 at $500,000 for Whiskey Row Draws Criticism for Metro Budget <p>Metro Mayor Greg Fischer <a href="">presented his proposed city budget</a> to the metro council last week. WFPL&#39;s Phillip M. Bailey covered the budget announcement and has been following reactions from council members, external agencies, and private citizens. He joined us Friday on Byline to talk about how the budget proposal has been received&mdash;including the controversial $500,000 for Whiskey Row renovations.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p> Sat, 09 Jun 2012 14:00:00 +0000 Laura Ellis 599 at Fischer Not Interested in Privatizing Parking <p>Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has resisted offers to privatize the city&#39;s parking despite pressure from out-of-town companies.</p><p>The mayor is selling two downtown garages for $10.7 million to the Parking Authority of River City to help balance the budget. But PARC is a quasi-government agency that operates several downtown lots and garages for Metro Government.</p><p>Council members have questioned why those properties are being sold to a city agency and not put up for competitive bid to potentially gain more for the structures.</p><p>Louisville Chief Financial Officer Steve Rowland says the city has had several offers to privatize parking since Fischer took office, but the administration isn&#39;t interested.</p><p>&quot;If we were to sell all our parking garages to the private sector, we would lose control over what the rates would be and we would possibly drive out over time businesses out of the downtown area because parking is a key cost to their employees,&quot; he says.</p><p> Tue, 05 Jun 2012 16:42:02 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 541 at Fischer Not Interested in Privatizing Parking Council Questions City CFO About Budget Deals With PARC <p>Hearing testimony from Chief Financial Officer Steve Rowland, the Louisville Metro Council&#39;s Budget Committee began its review of the <a href="">mayor&#39;s proposed spending plan</a> on Monday.</p><p>Mayor Greg Fischer&#39;s latest budget balances the city&#39;s books without raising taxes, cutting city services or furloughing Metro employee. However, council members spent most of the time grilling the administration about the budget&#39;s reliance on the sale of two downtown garages to the parking authority.</p><p>The city is selling two downtown parking lots to the Parking Authority of River City for $10.7 million and selling two garages for $3.9 million. PARC technically purchased the garages from the former county government at merger nine years ago, but the payment was never received.</p><p>Budget Committee Vice Chairman Kelly Downard, R-16, says the mayor&#39;s agreement is unacceptable because PARC owes much more money for the garages after Metro Government paid bonds on the structures since merger.</p><p>&quot;They&rsquo;ve been taking income off this&mdash;net income&mdash;for seven to nine years, that&rsquo;s our money. We&rsquo;ve been paying the bonds down, good lord,&quot; he says. &quot;I think PARC&rsquo;s got a problem because they have been taking our money on a garage they didn&rsquo;t pay for, on debt that we&rsquo;ve been paying and I think there&rsquo;s a serious problem here.&quot;</p><p> Mon, 04 Jun 2012 23:30:15 +0000 Phillip M. Bailey 533 at Blackwell Says Southwest Regional Library Bond Makes Sense In Latest Budget <p>City lawmakers from southwest Louisville are praising Mayor Greg Fischer&#39;s decision to fund construction of the Southwest Regional Library in his latest city budget proposal.</p><p>The $9.5 million bond for the library is the largest expenditure in the mayor&#39;s capital budget and the only proposed bond. It follow&#39;s up a $500,000 allocation the mayor made last year to begin the design phase of the long-planned project.</p><p>The library foundation will also give the city $3.5 million for the facility.</p> Thu, 24 May 2012 23:03:06 +0000 Gabe Bullard 435 at