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President Jim King announces Metro Council work groups to focus on Annexation and LIFT

Tuesday January 28, 2014

For Immediate Release:
Office of the President
Louisville Metro Council
Contact: Tony Hyatt 574-4137 / 526-3622

Louisville – Council President Jim King (D-10) has announced the formation of two Metro Council work groups that will focus attention on two issues that are at the forefront of discussion involving Metro Louisville: Annexation and LIFT.

“We have much to do in assessing our role with respect to annexation and the Mayor’s top legislative priority is the passage of LIFT. The work of both of these groups will be critical to the Council,” said King.

Councilman Kelly Downard (R-16) has agreed to Chair the Annexation Work Group. President King has also asked Councilman David Yates (D-25) to serve as Co-Chair. Council Members Rick Blackwell (D-12), Mary C. Woolridge (D-3), Kevin Kramer (R-11), Ken Fleming (R-7) and Marilyn Parker (R-18) have agreed to serve as members of the group.

The Annexation Work Group has been asked by President King to consider the following:

· The Council’s understanding of the annexation laws

· What role the Metro Council can and should play

· The financial impact of annexation on Metro Government

· Alternatives to annexation, i.e, expansion of the Urban Service District

· The criteria and/or standards that should be followed in approving or denying any request for annexation

There have already been preliminary discussions between the Annexation Work Group, the Mayor, and the Jefferson County Attorney on the scope of the work ahead. A joint Council/Mayor Annexation Committee will also be formed and the President has indicated he is willing to create an ad hoc committee on Annexation later this spring when the group agrees it is time to begin holding meetings in Council Chambers.

At that time, it is expected the Committee would hold hearings and invite representatives of Mayor Fischer’s administration, the Jefferson County League of Cities, Suburban Cities, Unincorporated Jefferson County, etc., to testify.

“As Mayor Fischer moves forward with his push for LIFT and the local option sales tax, it is important for the Council to have an understanding of what is involved with the passage of such a tax and the process by which any funds would be collected and allocated for projects,” said King. “It is currently the responsibility of the Metro Council to approve spending for all government operations and projects involving tax dollars in Metro Louisville. That is a responsibility that we take very seriously.”

The LIFT work group will review the following areas:

· Review proposed legislation pending in Frankfort

· Review alternatives that should be considered by the Metro Council

· Review the structure of the proposed “Community Investment Commission” if LIFT becomes a reality

Councilman Ken Fleming (R-7) and Councilwoman Madonna Flood (D-24) have agreed to Co-chair this work group. Other Council members in the group include Rick Blackwell (D-12), Cindi Fowler (D-14), David Tandy (D-4), Jerry Miller (R-19), David James (D-6), Glen Stuckel (R-17), Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13) and Marilyn Parker (R-18).

“I want to thank the members who have agreed to serve on these two important work groups,” said President King.

Jim King (D) 10