January 5, 2021 10:46am
Metro Council mid-year spending plan includes support for economic recovery and COVID relief
Louisville Metro Council formally approved a mid-year spending plan of $3.9 million in surplus funds to support the city’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The spending plan includes funding for graffiti removal and other clean-up efforts throughout Louisville as well as increased supports for individuals experiencing homelessness. In addition, Metro Council allocated funds to help implement the city’s new Group Violence Initiative, or GVI, which is focused on addressing racial disparities and the inequitable impact of violence in Louisville. GLI has been a proponent of implementing GVI in our community. Metro Council and the Mayor’s office worked together to develop and approve these appropriations.
GLI strongly advocated for the new spending plan, arguing that Louisville must continue investing in itself to ensure a long-term economic recovery. In a letter to Council members last month, GLI President & CEO Sarah Davasher-Wisdom stated, “We fully recognize the many acute challenges for businesses and residents in Louisville at this very moment, but it is vital that we take the steps that we can to make the investments necessary for a long-term, sustainable economic recovery … Making these investments right now will better position our city for success and recovery down the road.”
Late last year, the city announced $26 million in “carry-forward” funds from Fiscal Year 2020 into Fiscal Year 2021. The spending plan passed by Metro Council comes from these carry-forward funds. Last month, the city allocated from these funds $10 million in utility relief assistance, a proposal also supported and advocated for by GLI. GLI has encouraged members of Metro Council to consider appropriating additional dollars from the carry-forward funds to restart the successful Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. In 2020, this program provided $27.1 million to Louisville small businesses impacted by the pandemic.