Monday March 29, 2004
For Immediate Release
For Information Contact:
Jennifer F. Brislin
Patrick H. Neely
Louisville Metro Council President Kelly Downard announced today that the Council will not spend $200,000 of its administration budget to the Metro Government’s General Fund.
Historically, the former Board of Aldermen and the County Commissioners waited until after the end of the fiscal year to announce what unused funds would be returned.
“We continue to be faced with tight budget times,” Downard said. “I believe it is important to tell the mayor what money we will be returning to the General Fund right now, when it can make the most difference.”
By making the announcement early, Downard said Mayor Jerry Abramson will be able to use it to fill any holes in the 2004 budget, which his administration is working on right now.
District 19 Councilman Hal Heiner, chairman of the Republican Caucus, said that fiscal responsibility was a priority of the caucus before the members even took office.
“Each member of our caucus made a commitment to hold the line on salaries,” Heiner said. “As a result, caucus members sent back a total of more than $82,000 in unused salary funds after six months last year, and will return more than $165,000 this year.”
During the news conference, Downard also announced that the council should be able to return even more money at the end of the fiscal year.
“I hope that we can continue our belt-tightening through increased fiscal responsibility for the last three months of the fiscal year,” he said. “The more money we return, the more money will be able to go toward public safety, libraries, parks and other important services for our community.”
Downard also discussed the proposed budget for next year.
“We were able to further tighten our belts, despite significant mandatory increases in several categories,” Downard said.
There is a total of $175,000 in increased costs due to retirement, health insurance and rent: retirement costs rose 47 percent for a total increase of $84,643 because new employees only received those benefits for six months, plus a 15 percent state increase; health insurance costs rose 14 percent for a total increase of $30,361; and rent rose 24 percent for a total increase of $59,952.
Downard worked with financial advisers from both caucuses. He was able to identify more than $125,000 in cuts so the budget increases less than 1 percent over actual spending in this current year.
The proposed budget for fiscal year 2005 is $144,755 less than fiscal year 2004 budget.
The proposed council budget will be submitted to the mayor’s office. It will be included in the overall Metro Government budget and will be reviewed by the Appropriations and Revenue Committee starting in late May or early June.
Kelly Downard (R) 16