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Metro Council approves bond issue to settle Louisville Firefighter Lawsuit

Thursday May 13, 2010

For Immediate Release:
Majority Caucus
Louisville Metro Council
Contact: Tony Hyatt 574-4137/526-3622

By a vote of 24 to 1 and one present vote, the Louisville Metro Council on Thursday gave its approval to a bond issue of $35 million that will settle the lawsuit brought by firefighters against the Metro Government.

The entire settlement amount will be paid for through a bond issue. The Council changed a provision in the ordinance which called for $10 million dollars from the “Rainy Day “Fund to be used as part of the settlement. The change was offered in the form of an amendment by Councilman Brent T. Ackerson (D-26) The amendment passed by a vote of 13 to 11.

“I believe a majority of the Council agreed that this is not the time to be using the Rainy Day fund when we have the chance to take advantage of an improving economy,” said Ackerson. “Louisville is fortunate in that we have a reserve fund and we have not experienced a disaster such as what the city of Nashville is dealing with. We needed to keep that in mind as we settled this issue.”

The ordinance would bond the remaining settlement costs over a 10 year period. The city would pay roughly $4.2 million in bond debt during that period.

“Anything we can do to protect the city’s financial interests should be our first and foremost concern,” said Councilman Jim King (D-10) who chairs the Council’s Budget Committee. “The Council has had a very good discussion on this issue. We know there will be some budget challenges ahead and that makes the Rainy Day Fund even more important.”

“I am pleased that we as a Council have finally brought this issue to a close for our firefighters,” said Councilwoman Madonna Flood, (D-24) Majority Floor Leader. “They have had a long legal fight to get the money they were due for their service to our city.”

Sponsor:
Brent T. Ackerson (D) 26
Jim King (D) 10
Madonna Flood (D) 24