On Wednesday, Metro Council President Jim King (Dem., 10th Dist.) sent Mayor Greg Fischer a letter containing more that two dozen suggested budget recommendations that King says could save the local government between $10 to $20 million dollars annually.
“These are our recommendations to help the Mayor through the coming months as we work together to resolve the budget deficit facing this city in the short term and in the coming fiscal year,” said King.
The letter was sent after King spent ten days meeting Budget Chair Marianne Butler (Dem., 15th Dist.) and Budget Vice-Chair Kelly Downard (Rep., 16th Dist.) as well as other Council members to develop options for budget reductions, revenue increases and greater government efficiencies.
The President’s letter highlights the following:
The letter also highlights other areas of review of revenues and costs of other government agencies. “We trust the suggestions may serve as a point of departure for discussions on ways to increase revenues and reduce costs,” King said in his letter.
Under Kentucky state law, cities must operate under a balanced budged. The City of Louisville needs to find a way to cut $12 million from its current FY 2011-2012 budget, to balance its books by next June 30. In King’s six-page letter to Mayor Fischer, Metro Council members are suggesting 28 of their own ideas for reaching that goal. King said he believes implementation of the suggestions can save the city $10 million to $20 million.
The mayor is scheduled to meet next Thursday with the Metro Council Budget committee, to discuss his own recommendations on cuts and layoffs.
The Metro Council is leaning toward ending the city's contract with Greater Louisville Inc.—Louisville’s chamber of commerce—since the mayor has now created a new Department of Economic Growth and Innovation, which will essentially duplicate the work of GLI.
Additional Council proposals are the merging of Louisville’s Fire and EMS Departments, delaying construction on the pedestrian bridge project connecting the Belvedere to the Muhammad Ali Center over 6th Street, and the collection of occupational taxes from performers at the KFC Yum Center.
We are inclined to agree with brother Rick Redding, over at LouisvilleKY.com, when he concludes, “If you look at (the Council’s budget reduction proposals) individually, they all really make sense. Cutting ties the Greater Louisville Inc. (for example) is a no-brainer. The city has hired new managers who are responsible for economic development, and GLI is a bloated organization that overpaid its previous director.”
FOX-41’s Lindsay Allen reports:
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