By Gabe Bullard

Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson’s budget for the next fiscal year is the latest in a series of lean spending plans.   He introduced the spending plan to the Metro Council Thursday afternoon.

With a less than one percent projected increase in revenue, the budget continues the cuts made over the last two years, but does not include layoffs, which were made last year.

The budget also includes fewer capital projects then before, with money being set aside for libraries, a vehicle maintenance facility and a pedestrian bridge downtown.  Grants to external agencies have also changed. Abramson says the slight growth predicted in the budget is not enough to offset increases in expenses.

Abramson says the one percent growth predicted in the budget is a positive sign for the economy, but it is not enough to offset increases in expenses.

“One bright spot, however, is the stimulus funds,” he says. “You know, when we visited last year during the budget presentation, I told you at that time there would be about $250 million of stimulus available for our community during the two-year period. We have no recalculated that, and in fact the number is $485 million so far.”

Abramson also says the predicted growth a sign that the next mayor may not have to deal with budget cuts the way he has.

“We’re certainly not going on easy street, but it does say that the economists and financial folks around this community are saying that there is light at the end of the tunnel,” he says. “We’re beginning to see a flicker.”

This is Abramson’s final budget, as he is not seeking re-election.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."