Thursday May 27, 2010
View Mayor Abramson's recommended budget and read his address to the Metro Council. Click here .
Plan makes strategic investments, doesn’t raise taxes
Delivering his 21st and final budget address as leader of his hometown, Mayor Jerry Abramson today proposed a $821 million spending plan that puts a priority on public safety, maintains basic services and does not raise taxes.
The budget includes $81 million in capital and construction projects with strategic investments ranging from a new library to crime fighting-equipment.
“This budget focuses on the priorities we have set for our city – keeping our residents safe, creating jobs, investing in a vibrant downtown, promoting public health and enriching the quality of life that makes our community special, appealing and distinctive,” Abramson said.
The 2010-2011 fiscal year budget, presented during the mayor’s annual address to the Metro Council, devotes the largest allocation – $152 million, or 30 percent of the General Fund – to police. It maintains the strength of the existing force and includes two new recruit classes.
Public protection spending has grown from 46 percent of the budget for the first year of merger to nearly 60 percent of the proposed budget. “Public safety is our number one goal – and my budget once again delivers on that,” Abramson said.
The mayor underscored the public safety commitment by recognizing leaders of the community’s public protection agencies and announcing the final milestone of the MetroSafe emergency communications system – the distribution of more than 4,700 communications radios to emergency responders. The budget provides $17 million for the first full-year of operation for MetroSafe, a $70-plus million, multi-year capital project.
The administration predicts revenue growth at less than 1 percent over last year’s budget, a small but positive sign that the economy – and, therefore, revenue – is growing again, Abramson said.
“It’s not big growth, but it is growth,” Abramson said. That growth will preserve current service and workforce levels, meet union contract obligations for salaries and benefits and allow 2-percent raises for non-union employees.
The budget includes fewer capital projects than in previous years due to the economy, but Abramson said there are strategic investments including:
· a new library in Fairdale;
· expansion of the Shawnee library;
· creation of the Metro Fleet Center for city vehicles on Newburg Road;
· and construction of a pedestrian bridge across Sixth Street downtown that will link the Muhammad Ali Center with the Belvedere to create a mile-long “waterfront walk” to the new KFC YUM! Center.
“Seven years ago, when I presented the first budget for our new city of Louisville, I said it was an important first step in building a strong foundation for our future – to unite our governments and pull our community together as one,” Abramson said. “I’m proud to say we have reached that goal.”