July 2, 2021 9:22am
What’s in the Metro Council budget?
Following a year of unprecedented calls for change and rising crime trends, Metro Council passed a $1.04 Billion budget on a 24-2 vote. The budget is boosted by funding from the American Rescue Plan and included many GLI priorities including addressing public safety, violence intervention, infrastructure improvements and deferred maintenance.
Heeding calls for immediate action to address Louisville’s troubling violence and crime trends, Metro’s investment in violence intervention nearly quadrupled to $19 million and includes support for community-led programs. This includes $550,000 for the Group Violence Intervention program, an initiative launched last year to divert people from the path of gun violence. Funding was also included for an alternative law-enforcement community engagement initiative known as Reconciliation. Despite recent debates, the budget avoids cuts to LMPD, which accounts for nearly one sixth of the entire Metro operating budget. The Office for Inspector General was fully funded at $763,000 and will work with the Civilian Review and Accountability Board to provide oversight and review of LMPD.
Workforce issues that have plagued our region for years have been exacerbated by the pandemic and resulting drop in workforce participation. This budget allocates $3 million for Evolve502, $1 million for SummerWorks, and $1.3 million for the Future of Work Initiative through Microsoft – programs that are essential to workforce training and development.
Other highlights include:
- $2.7 million in small Business Assistance – $1.5 million in METCO loan program and $1.3 million to Future of Work Initiative with Microsoft
- $10 million in commitment to the West End Louisville Partnership
- Over $55 million for paving and sidewalk repairs. Funds to expand efforts like the Clean Collaborative, which is helping revitalize city roadways and neighborhoods through graffiti removal and the upkeep of vacant lots.
The Council allocated the first $32.5 million of the $388 million awarded to Louisville from the American Rescue Plan Act. $20 million will go toward continued vaccination efforts, with the remaining funding designated for utility assistance, childcare, suicide prevention and substance abuse treatment. Metro Council also approved $1 million in ARPA funds for “safety ambassadors” who will be primarily responsible for keeping certain areas of Louisville clean, and will also be cross-trained in public safety.