Louisville Metro Government

Politics
10:15 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Metro Call Launches on Twitter

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced Friday the city's information hotline is now on Twitter for citizens to better interact with Metro Government.

Metro Call can be followed at the Twitter handle @LouMetro311.

Residents can now tweet their questions or concerns via the social networking site rather than having to call 311 to verbally report issues.

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Politics
3:04 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

City Mulls Charging Neighborhood Groups for Night Zoning Hearings

Under a new proposal, Louisville Metro Government would bill neighborhood groups approximately $3,000 to hold zoning hearings in their affected communities.

The Metro Planning Commission often holds special meetings at neighborhood venues in the evenings when residents and developers clash over controversial new projects or developments.

But city officials says rising costs for things such as a court reporter, recording equipment and security are harder to pay for in lean budget times.

"We've gotten to the point where in the past couple of years our budget has gone down quite a bit," says Metro Planning and Design Services Director Phil Bills. "And a lot of places we go to are not convenient for video or audio recording. In our downtown location we have that equipment, but when we go out we have to hire a court reporter and that's up to $1,500 alone."

The idea was discussed briefly at the Metro Planning Commission last Friday, and the proposal has been tabled.

Attorney Stephen Porter represents OPEN Louisville and other preservationist groups in zoning cases. He says neighborhood leaders object to the idea because it burdens residents and favors developers

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Politics
6:10 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Water Pipe Burst Floods Mayor Greg Fischer's Office

Credit Wikipedia Commons

The infrastructure woes for downtown Louisville continued Saturday after a major water pipe burst severely flooded Mayor Greg Fischer's office.

Fischer's chief of staff discovered the flooding around 2 p.m and staff rushed to save valuable artwork and historic furniture in Metro Hall.

The pipe burst began on the sixth floor of the building cascading to the fourth and second floors, including Metro TV studios.

According to a mayoral spokesman Chris Poynter, city crews aren’t certain what caused the pipe to burst, but believe it could be connected to the underground electrical explosion that occurred early Saturday morning.

The explosion dislodged manhole covers and shut down a few downtown Louisville blocks. It also caused the evacuation of Metro Police headquarters.

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Politics
2:55 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Council Democrats, Republicans Launch Social Media Pages

The caucus staff for the Louisville Metro Council Democrats and Republicans have created social media pages to better reach constituents.

Currently, a handful of city lawmakers have official Facebook and Twitter accounts where they update their ordinances and district events.

Others use their personal website to update on their council work, but most have not signed on to social networking to reach out to constituents.

Democratic Caucus spokesman Tony Hyatt says the technology is a good way to let residents know what’s on their agenda, and that more lawmakers will be logging on soon.

"I think the goal is to eventually bring everybody along. You know as well as I do there are some folks who were a little late to the game in understanding how social media operates. Our goal is to get the information out of what’s going on with the caucus, meeting notifications, letting them know about progress reports on certain things," he says.

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Politics
5:54 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

H&R Block: Louisville 7th Most Taxed City in America

Credit hrblock.com

H&R Block has released a graph showing what many have said for years, Louisville is one of most tax burdened cities in the country.

The findings are based on a study conducted by the chief financial officer of Washington, D.C.

That reported was touted by Councilman Ken Fleming, R-7, as a reason for Mayor Greg Fischer's administration to think twice about pushing a local option sales tax.

H&R shows that a hypothetical family of three with an annual income of $50,000 pays an estimated $6,346 in taxes annually.

That means Louisville residents carry a 12.7 percent tax burden, ahead of Boston, Massachusetts at 12.3 percent and just behind Chicago, Illinois at 12.8 percent.

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Politics
11:16 am
Wed January 30, 2013

City Reminds Residents to Sign-up for Code Red Emergency Alert System

Mayor Greg Fischer says the severe weather that struck Louisville this week should serve as a reminder for citizens to sign up for the city's emergency alert system.

The Code Red alerts use text messages, e-mails and phone calls to warn residents about potentially life-threatening events, including severe weather.

Code Red was established two years ago in the aftermath of a chemical explosion in the Rubbertown neighborhood. Over 239,000 individuals are already registered, but the mayor hopes more citizens will sign up.

"The Code Red system is easy to use and gets information to people quickly so they can protect themselves and their families," Fischer said in a news release. "During last night’s storms, if you were asleep or weren’t listening to television or radio, you would have received a phone call or text message from Code Red with the latest warnings."

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Politics
6:29 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

City Departments Hope Gun Owners Will Use Common Sense

Credit Creative Commons

Louisville Metro Government departments are urging gun owners to use common sense now that firearms are allowed in city-owned buildings.

The General Assembly passed a state law forbidding cities from enacting stricter gun laws than the state in 2012, and the Metro Council changed its definition of deadly weapons last week as a result.

Under the new provisions taking effect this month, residents are allowed to openly carry a firearm in Metro facilities such as the mayor’s office and City Hall, as well as libraries, parks and the Louisville Zoo.

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Politics
2:07 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

City Purchases Land to Attract Jobs, Development in West Louisville

Mayor Greg Fischer announced Friday that Metro Government has purchased a 30-acre piece of land in west Louisville that it plans to market to companies wishing to expand or relocate to the city.

The property is the former headquarters of National Tobacco located at 30th and Muhammad Ali Blvd. It will cost the city $1.2 million to buy from state government, with $750,000 coming from a settlement with the state over an unrelated right-of-way dispute.

The other $500,000 was allocated by the mayor last year in the city budget to buy brown space in the West End.

"This property is ideal and ready for development," Fischer said in a news release. "The site is clear with no significant environmental issues. It’s on a rail line, abuts the interstate and is surrounded by a ready workforce."

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Politics
1:00 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Mayor Greg Fischer to Present Ishmon Burks With Freedom Award

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has chosen former Kentucky Secretary of Justice Ishmon Burks to be the 2013 recipient of the city’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Award.

Burks is a retired army colonel who also served as the first African-American commissioner of the Kentucky State Police. In 2011, he served as interim chief of the Louisville Metro Police Department and as Fischer’s chief of public safety.

Burks says he is humbled by the mayor’s choice, and accepts the Freedom Award with a sense of gratitude.

"I wasn’t quite sure how to take it, but he said ‘I think you’re the man’ and I said mayor if you think so it’s fine with me. And so I was surprised by the whole thing," he says.

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Politics
10:01 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

City Highlights Progress on Demolitions, Foreclosures of Vacant Properties

Joined by Councilwoman Attica Scott, D-1, and other city officials, Mayor Greg Fischer says Louisville Metro Government is increasing its efforts to tackle vacant and abandoned properties.

The demolition of abandoned properties went up by 30 percent in 2012, and city officials are aiming to foreclose on another 100 homes by June 30. According to different housing reports, Louisville has an estimated 7,000 vacant homes and approximately 1,300 of those are abandoned.

Fischer is spending $125,000 in the current city budget to file those foreclosures, and says the goal is to reduce the number of abandoned properties by 40 percent in the next three years and 67 percent over the next five.

"This is one of those projects that is so big it's easy just to throw up your hands and say it's been going on for decades, and we can't do anything about it. Well, I want to say that if you live next to an vacant or abandoned properties and the weeds are six feet tall, I can tell you that it is not an acceptable answer to say there's nothing we can do about this," he says.

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