Louisville Metro Government

Politics
12:37 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Fischer Discusses City Tax Options in Lane Report Interview

In an interview with the Lexington-based Lane Report, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said the city needs to diversify its tax base to help combat budget shortfalls.

About 80 percent of Metro Government's revenue comes from occupational and property taxes, which have stalled due to the economy. The mayor had to fill a $20 million deficit in his last fiscal plan while the tax base has grown at a slower rate and a structural imbalance gets wider.

Lately Fischer has been pushing a local option sales tax, adding cities need more options to raise revenue. In the one-on-one interview, he cited a recommendation from Governor Steve Beshear's Blue Ribbon Tax Commission is that cities share in the state’s sales taxes as well.

From The Lane Report:

EL: Would you raise the sales tax, ask for a share of the current state sales tax, or would you have a local-option sales tax on top of the current sales tax?

GF: Whether it’s a private business or the business of government, a more diversified revenue stream has better odds of staying level or growing. Kentucky cities do not have a sales tax component to their revenue stream. The second possibility is the local-option sales tax: where the citizens of a city can vote on a specific project, for a specific time period, paid for in a specific way. Most all of our competitive cities have that option as well; Kentucky cities do not. So when you see capital investments being made by other cities in their arts district, recreation center or forensic crime lab, frequently they are funded by a local-option sales tax.

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Environment
5:26 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

New Metro Government Tree App Technically Available, But Not Yet Functional

A new smart phone app currently in development would allow Louisville residents to participate in cataloging the city’s trees—as well as create a wish lists of sorts for more trees in their neighborhoods.

The “Louisville Tree” app will eventually allow users to peruse interactive maps of the city, along with pinpoints marking the locations of different varieties of trees. There’s also a way to report dying or unsafe trees to the city.

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Politics
4:27 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Shanklin Furious With Fischer Administration Over C-J Comments

Louisville Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, has spurned an invitation from Mayor Greg Fischer, citing his administration's comments regarding the use of city grants for an upholstery job training program.

Last Friday, a Fischer spokesman told The Courier-Journal  the program for ex-offenders should have ended on November 14 as ordered by the city and that it appears "city tax dollars are not spent as they’re intended to be." It was discovered that Shanklin continued to fund the program and personally signed an $836 check despite Metro Corrections ending it due to a lack of former inmate referrals.

"The published reports raise concerns with Dr. Shanklin over how the mayor's office has responded," says Democratic Caucus spokesman Tony Hyatt, confirming that Shanklin called Fischer's office to reject an invitation to celebrate renovations at Petersburg Park in District 2 later this week.

According to Hyatt, Shanklin says corrections tried to kill the upholstery training while two people were still going through the course, and that the neighborhood association decided to finish out the last month of training.

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Environment
5:39 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Metro Goverment Installs New Pollution Filters on Some Diesel Equipment

This John Deere tractor was retrofitted with the grant.
Erica Peterson WFPL

Some vehicles in Louisville Metro Government’s diesel fleet are now equipped with new pollution controls. 

With more than $1.6 million in federal and state grants, Louisville Metro has retrofitted 90 pieces of diesel equipment. Air Pollution Control District director Lauren Anderson says the new pollution controls will greatly reduce the amount of pollution the equipment releases into the air.

“Diesel particulate filters can filter out 90 percent of the harmful particulate from diesel emissions,” she said. “Ninety percent.”

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Politics
7:00 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Scott Launches "Clean It Up" Program

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott, D-1, is partnering with Metro Corrections and Solid Waste Management to launch a new program aimed at clearing out trash in alleyways.

The "Clean it up" initiative begins Tuesday and will use inmates in a work release crew from the city jail to clean up blight in District 1 neighborhoods. The first area that the program will target will be the Parkland neighborhood where a shooting spree broke out on May 17.

Scott says the program is a chance for inmates to earn back the community’s trust and volunteer in their former neighborhoods.

"To my knowledge what the inmates get is giving back to the community. This is their community service. This is there way of helping to take care of  the neighborhoods where some of them come from,"she says.

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Politics
6:30 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Fischer Names Chief of Strategic Initiatives

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer named Mary Ellen Wiederwohl as chief of strategic initiatives on Thursday.

The position will focus on integrating policy, improving local, state and federal governments relations and communicating them into the city’s long-term plan. Wiederwohl, 38, will be paid $113,000 annually and will also serve as Fischer's deputy to chief of staff.

"Mary Ellen has a deep knowledge of both government and the private sector," Fischer said in a news release. "Her expertise in education, health care, government relations, public policy and communications will help our team accelerate our goals for the city."

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Local News
2:29 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Heat Wave To Grip Area For Several Days

Illustration from louisvilleky.gov

A heat wave that will linger over the region for the next several days will produce high temperatures in the triple digits.

That has health officials cautioning those who have to be outside to consume plenty of liquids and avoid overexertion.

University of Louisville Hospital emergency department physician Laura Tudor says low humidity levels will make coping with the heat a bit easier.

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Politics
8:00 am
Sun June 24, 2012

City Grants Paid Shanklin's Relatives

Family members of Louisville Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, have received over $3,000 in taxpayer money from a city grant that the lawmaker has personally signed checks for since 2005.

For the past seven years, the Petersburg/Newburg Improvement Association has received $150,000 in city funding, of which Shanklin and several relatives belong to.

From The Courier-Journal:

Among those who benefited were the mother of Shanklin’s grandson, who received $1,700; her son-in-law, $1,325; and Walker, who got $650 for repairing the floor in a small house the city donated to the neighborhood group.

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Politics
1:01 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Louisville Innovative Delivery Team to Tackle Urban Problems

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has put together a special team that will take on five urban challenges.

The projects range from to expanding recycling and reducing the number of low-severity 911 calls to implementing a more efficient rezoning process. Fischer announced a six-member "Innovation Delivery Team" will deal with the five goals, which will be funded by a $4.8 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies that the city received last year.

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Local News
4:56 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

TARC Approves Fare Increases, Service Reductions Under Review

The board of directors for the Transit Authority of River City approved across-the-board fare increases that will take effect July 1 to help offset a projected $4.6 million budget shortfall.

Base fare for a one-way trip will increase from $1.50 to $1.75 and a monthly pass will cost $50 compared to the current $42 rate. The cost for individuals with disabilities who use TARC3 services will also go up from $2.50 to $3.00.

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