Politics

The Louisville Metro Council on Thursday unanimously approved the city’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The $822 million spending plan invests heavily in road repair and public safety initiatives.

The 26-member council made about $10 million in tweaks to Mayor Greg Fischer’s initial budget proposal. Fischer presented his spending plan to the council in May. The council’s budget committee spent the weeks leading up to Thursday’s vote examining his proposal.

Council members did not engage in any debate Thursday before casting their votes.

The $10 million in changes include adding about $5 million for road repair. Council members are intently focused on improving Metro-maintained roads around the county. The boost brings the total allotment for road repair to $23 million.

About $1.1 million will be added to the city’s public works department budget for sidewalk repair. That increases the total for sidewalk repair to about $4 million for the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1.

Metro Police will get about $213,000 more for surveillance technology. Police Chief Steve Conrad will be tasked with determining whether the funds should help pay for an audio-based gunshot tracking system or should be added to the $300,000 allotment for surveillance cameras across the county in the adopted budget.

Louisville Metro Corrections will also get a funding boost. The council voted to send $455,000 to the city’s jail for repairs and improvements.

The council made few cuts to Fischer’s initial proposed spending plan.

Those include a $100,000 reduction in the city’s tree-planting efforts and a $150,000 cut to funds set aside for the city’s bicycle infrastructure network.

“We have kept true to our word, as a council, to continue our priority to reinvest into our neglected infrastructure,”  said council president David Yates, a Democrat from District 25.

He said he’s pleased the council was able to come together to put additional funding toward road paving and public safety initiatives, despite concerns early on in the process that the budget would fracture the council.

“We’ve passed a good, balanced budget,” said councilman Bill Hollander, a Democrat from District 9 and chair of the council’s majority caucus.

Hollander said he’s most pleased with the council’s “investment in people” — notably, the $2.5 million allocation for the city’s affordable housing trust fund.

Councilman Kevin Kramer, a Republican from District 7 and chair of the council’s minority caucus, touted the budget’s investment in infrastructure repair.

“This proved to be a good budget process and outcome with a major focus on taking care of capital priorities in paving and deferred maintenance,” he said.

Mayor Greg Fischer, in an emailed statement, said the budget makes “strategic investments while also taking care of many needs.”

“I appreciate the Metro Council’s careful deliberation and approval of the new budget and look forward to working with council and citizens as we build on our success,” he said.

Here’s some of our coverage on this year’s city’s budget:

Mayor’s Proposed Budget Focuses On Public Safety, Roads

Metro Council Settles On Surplus Spending Plan

What To Expect In Tonight’s Metro Budget Vote

Bad Roads Could Bring Bad News For Louisville’s Bond Rating

Can This New Technology Reduce Shootings In Louisville?

Louisville Jail Inmates Being Sent To Overflow Facility

Jacob Ryan is the Metro Affairs reporter for WFPL.