Metro Council is expected to vote next week on a $30 million bond ordinance that would support a new development in Butchertown. The development will include a stadium for Louisville’s pro soccer club, as well as retail, hotels and office space.
The bond the city is proposing would go to buying about 35 acres of land in the neighborhood, along with brownfield remediation and public infrastructure improvements.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Metro Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith say the deal is a no-brainer, and will be great for the area’s development. The measure passed the council’s budget committee this week.
Assuming the state approves a Tax Increment Financing district for the project, the city estimates it will recoup its investment within 20 years. The plan includes for Louisville City FC to reimburse the city $14.5 million for the land, with the additional money coming from increased property taxes. But the city will have to pay interest on the bond, too.
Greater Louisville, Inc—the city’s chamber of commerce—has also spoken in favor of the deal. But a right-leaning Louisville-based think-tank has registered its opposition. The Pegasus Institute issued a memo to council members urging they slow down, seek public input and be cautious before investing city money in the project.
So, what do you think? If you were on the Metro Council, would you vote yes or no to authorize the funding? Why or why not? Let us know below and we’ll use some of your answers in future coverage.
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Disclosure: Louisville City FC is privately owned by 47 investors. Two of those, Gill Holland and José Donis, are Louisville Public Media board members.