Louisville Metro Government

Politics
3:39 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Report: 92,000 Louisvillians Can't Afford Housing; $450,000 Raised for Trust to Help Them

Credit Wikipedia Commons

Leaders with the Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund have secured about $500,000, but the fund's advocates are urging Mayor Greg Fischer to do more to secure annual funding.

The trust fund is meant to give grants and loans for affordable housing activities, such as new construction, home rehabilitation, payment assistance and emergency repair.

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Politics
5:32 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

MSNBC: Bolton Wrong About Lockup Contract Details

A producer with MSNBC's award-winning prison documentary series "Lockup" says Louisville Metro Corrections Director Mark Bolton made inaccurate statements about the city’s contract with the cable news network.

The series began filming at the city jail earlier this year, and its season debut Saturday will feature footage from the corrections department. Bolton told WFPL in a telephone interview that Metro Corrections was given final edit approval and that his department had received $20,000 from the show for leadership development.

But MSNBC spokeswoman Wessie Vieria says Bolton’s claims are not true, and the cable network never gave Metro Corrections the rights to final editorial control of the show’s content.

"MSNBC does not ever give any editorial control to the people who appear in the stories and it was not different in this case. MSNBC and NBC News have final editorial control over every episode of Lockup and that is very, very clearly stated in our agreements with the jails and the prison," she says.

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Environment
3:00 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Green Roof Unveiled on Housing Authority Building

Metro Housing Authority

One of the Louisville Metro Housing Authority’s administrative buildings is the city’s newest recipient of a green roof.

There are more than 1,200 plants covering the nearly 17,000 square foot roof on top of the building on Vine Street.

Housing Authority Director Tim Barry says a green roof was a natural choice for the building.

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Politics
5:09 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Louisville Public Works Director Resigns

LEO Weekly (used with permission)

Louisville Metro Government Public Works Director Ted Pullen has resigned.

Mayor Greg Fischer's office has confirmed that Pullen turned in his letter of resignation at 4:30 p.m. Friday, saying he wanted to pursue other opportunities.

Fischer spokesman Chris Poynter says the search for a new director will begin immediately.

In June, WFPL requested documents from Metro Government, including "complaints filed against Louisville Metro Public Works Director Ted Pullen by Metro employees in the department since February 1, 2012." In response, we were told a complaint was pending and could not be released.

When asked later that week about any complaints against Pullen and whether his office asked Pullen to resign, Fischer told WFPL he had not asked Pullen to resign at that time. When asked whether there was an investigation into any complaints against Pullen, Fischer replied "We have personnel issues all the time and obviously we don't discuss those."

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Environment
5:33 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Five-Year Plan for Solid Waste Nears Final Stages

Louisville Metro Government’s new five-year plan for solid waste includes proposals to ban the use of plastic bags for yard waste and a plan to expand composting.

The five-year plan is required by state law, and is up for discussion at the Solid Waste board meeting tonight. Environmental engineer Sarah Lynn Cunningham is on the solid waste advisory committee. She says she’s in favor of ambitious goals, but has yet to see any evidence that Metro Government will commit to the goals it lays out in the plan.

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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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