Thursday May 26, 2005
Mayor Jerry Abramson today proposed a balanced Metro Government budget that will strengthen public safety and health, support economic development and job growth, and invest in Louisville’s families and quality of life.
The $717 million budget for Metro Government’s operation from July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2006 does not raise taxes and maintains basic services. It includes $102 million in capital projects.
“This is a budget that makes the most of our resources,” Abramson said. “It invests in fundamental services and in key priorities that will pay off for our citizens in the months and years ahead.”
Public safety a top priority
The mayor’s proposed budget continues the administration’s focus on enhancing public safety and health in the community.
“We will put more emergency responders on the streets of our community, and ensuring they are equipped to serve and protect for our citizens,” Abramson said.
Abramson proposes a 23 percent increase in the number of paramedics and EMTs in the newly created Louisville Metro EMS – which, in February, brought together as a single team the Louisville Fire Department and Jefferson County EMS services. The budget adds 46 EMT and paramedic positions, replaces 11 ambulances and refurbishes seven ambulances.
The mayor also proposes funding three new classes of police recruits, adding 100 officers, and continuing the development of MetroSafe – the communications network to link all area emergency responders for the first time. This fall, MetroSafe’s first phase will combine Metro Government’s emergency-communications dispatch functions at 768 Barret Avenue. Also, work will begin this year to renovate the former Federal Reserve Building – the site of MetroSafe’s second phase, a state-of-the-art and highly secure communications hub and emergency-operations center.
Projects to support parks, infrastructure, neighborhoods and business
Other highlights of the mayor’s proposed budget include:
• $26.8 million for improvement and expansion of area parks and recreational facilities;
• $12.6 million for road and sidewalk repairs and other Public Works improvements;
• $11.8 million for housing initiatives;
• $6.9 million invested in job-creation and small-business support efforts;
• $3.5 million to fund books and materials in libraries;
• $10.4 million to fund more than 200 social-service, housing, youth, arts and cultural organizations.
Revenue increase and government efficiencies offset cost increases
The mayor projects a three percent increase in government revenues – about $13 million – due to growth in occupational- and property-tax revenue. Mandated expenses such as contributions to pensions and health insurance, as well as funding labor-union contracts inherited from former city and county governments, are expected to increase costs by $17 million. With rising gas prices, the administration is estimating government’s fuel bill will increase by $1 million.
To offset increases in mandated costs and help balance the budget, Abramson said the focus on making government more efficient and effective is continuing. The proposed budget will eliminate 260 funded positions, bringing the total number of positions cut from government to nearly 800 since Abramson took office 2½ years ago. The position cuts will be achieved without layoffs through reorganization and attrition.
View Additional Budget Information: Summary of Appropriations
(pdf) Summary of Revenue
(pdf) External Agency Summary
(pdf) Requested Capital Projects