Politics

As city budget discussions move forward, Louisville Metro Council members are also expected this week to consider a $3-million short-term buyout program for some of the homes severely damaged this spring by flooding.

The Metro Council has enough political will to approve the proposed buyout, council members from both parties say.

Last week, the flood mitigation workgroup created by Fischer recommended that the council implement the short-term buyout program. The workgroup was formed after flooding rendered about Louisville 30 homes unlivable. The homeowners discovered soon after the flooding that they’d be unable to repair the structures because of a local flood ordinance.

The council changed the ordinance late last month to allow about a dozen homeowners to repair their homes.

The proposed program would only buyout about 30 homes, offering $100,000 in grants for each structure.

Councilman Kelly Downard, a Republican, said he believes Metro Council members will approve a program and partially fund it, along with the Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District and other sources.

Downard said the program will likely be paid through the city budget and not local neighborhood funds.

“It’s a citywide issue,” Downard said.

“It happens to be some areas this time; it will be other areas next time. So I think we have to look at it.”

Councilman Dan Johnson, a Democrat, is a member of the workgroup and has many residents in his district seeking a buyout.

Johnson said he’s glad the city is handling this issue in the short term, but he believes the federal government should be more involved.

“I think Metro government and MSD should rely on the (federal) government,” he said. “That’s why we are doing it now—so that we can see what we can help with for the people that need it immediately, and beyond that it will be up to the programs in the federal government that can help them.”

The workgroup is expected to come up with a long-term buyout program over the next several months. Louisville MSD and insurance companies—as well as others—are also included as suggested funding sources for the buyout.