Friday, June 25, 2010

Budget Passes; Hawkins Again Refuses to Be Part of the Process

The vote was 24 "for" the budget and 1 "against". Guess who said no to the Center for Women & Families, Dare to Care, ElderServe, The Healing Place, The Salvation Army, Project Warm and many others? Guess who refuses to take part in the budget process? Guess who DOES NOTHING to advance the cause of the Southwest in Metro Hall? Guess who pays the price for his stubborn, irresponsible behavior?

By a vote of 24 to 1, the Louisville Metro Council has given approval to the FY 2011 Operating and Capital Budgets for Metro Government.

“This was a challenging budget and I want to thank the members of the Budget Committee for their hard work and the amazing effort to work in a bi-partisan way this year,” said Councilman Jim King (D-10) who chairs the Committee. “We have done a thorough review and have found needed revenue for programs while at the same time followed a responsible course to not spend all the additional revenue we have found.”

The Budget Committee identified almost $6 million in additional revenue in the Mayors proposed $489 million Operations budget. Those revenues include $2.9 million in a revised tax revenue forecast; money was also found in a rebate from the Louisville Arena Authority, the proposed sale of properties and additional increases in other revenue areas.

"The changes in the appropriations reflect the differing priorities of the Metro Council compared to the Mayor," says Councilman Kelly Downard (R-16) who is Vice Chair of the Budget Committee.
The Budget also adds an additional $1 million to external agency programs such as the Center for Women and Families, Elderserve, Home of the Innocence and 37 other social service and arts groups. “I am proud the Council chose not to accept the proposed burglar alarm fee and still found ways to fund our priorities,” said Downard. “In addition, we believe the Mayor’s net profits tax projection is under estimated by approximately $3 million, but we did not allocate any projects to that funding. If the revenue materializes, we will determine how the excess revenue will be spent.”

King noted a realistic approach was followed this year in how Community Development Block Grant Funds are to be used in the coming budget. Some $4 million dollars was available in CDBG funding. “What we have done is applied those funds to needed programs rather than have the money idled in a holding account,” said King. “We have identified how the funds can be used and at the same time left a reserve for additional projects that may come in the budget year.”

The two budget ordinances will on the way to mayor Jerry Abramson for his signature.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Residents Rally In Rubbertown

On Sunday, residents and activists gathered in Rubbertown for a rally urging reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976.  This rally was in response to a chemical-leaking rail car at Dow Chemical that affected the neighborhood last week.  Some residents say they weren't notified of the leak, with some saying they heard about it on facebook. The leak was discovered shortly before noon.  Plant alarms sounded between 2pm and 2:05pm. Metro government officials are taking the company's side, saying proper protocol was followed. 

The protocol needs to change.  It isn't working.

WLKY has a story HERE. You can watch the You Tube video below.