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Metro Newsroom

Metro Council Members Offer Potential Solution to Arena Resolution

Friday July 21, 2006

Louisville Metro Council
Media Advisory
For Immediate Release                                                                   
Media Contacts:
Stephen Haag, Jr.  574-1204 / 645-1752 (cell)   
Tony Hyatt 574-4137 / 526-3622 (cell)

Councilmembers Rick Blackwell (District 12) and Kelly Downard (District 16) along with several other members of the Metro Council were joined today by Greater Louisville Building and Construction Trades Council Secretary-Treasurer Joe Wise. During the event, Blackwell and Downard announced a potential breakthrough in discussions regarding the Memorandum of Agreement for a downtown arena.

Participants in the Press Conference focused on the many successes the council had during the review process of the Arena Authority Memorandum of Agreement  including the addition of language setting goals of 20% Minority Participation, 5% Woman Participation and the addition of local participation goals of 60% and 75% for residents of the Louisville MSA and residents of the state of Kentucky and Indiana. These additions, plus the saving of more than $100 million in annual bond payment are strong points in the council’s actions.

“Over the past several weeks, while reviewing this agreement, this council has significantly improved this resolution, including saving  citizens more than $100 million in required bond payments. Our partners have agreed to these changes, and today we ask them to join us in providing a mechanism of verification, to ensure these goals are achieved.” –   Councilman Kelly Downard


“The arena is too important to the community to discontinue the conversation. We believe all-sides can live with what has been proposed, our recommendation address the concerns of union and non-unions, minorities and women and shows that all groups can work side-by-side. With the effort exemplified in today’s announcement, the council has shown, how committed it is to this project.” - Councilman Rick Blackwell

With the understanding that project labor agreement language wording was not acceptable for partners in this project, Councilman Blackwell and Downard worked to find a way for all parties to find another agreeable amendment. Working together, and through their caucuses, Councilman Blackwell and Downard have found resolution language acceptable for all parties. In addition to keeping changes previously made to the resolution regarding goals, finances and prevailing wage, the council suggesting the mayor add a member of the Greater Louisville Building and Construction Trades Council to the monitoring board. The council is also asking the mayor to add language in the resolution giving the committee the ability to monitor all goals and audit authority for prevailing wage.

“The Greater Louisville Building & Construction Trades Council is committed to working together in a spirit of cooperation to help make Louisville a world class city by helping build a world class arena and sporting venue downtown. We are just as committed to the hard working men and women of this community.  We believe that by being involved in this process that the interest of ALL workers will be protected.” - Joe Wise.

Rick Blackwell (D) 12
Kelly Downard (R) 16