After more than an hour of sometimes contentious debate, the Louisville Metro Council has approved the city’s operating and capital budgets for the next fiscal year.
The most debated issue was over the proposed $17 million to be spent on land downtown for the Center City commercial development. Republican Councilman Kelly Downard voted against the budget after a proposal to delay the land purchase failed. Downard wants to see plans for the project before spending the money.
“They are asking to utilize old bond monies to buy this land,” he says. “My process was to say we’re not going to spend any money on buying land until the administration says here’s the land, here’s what we’re buying, here’s how and here’s how we get our money back.”
Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton and other Democrats voted against the delay.
“It just came down party lines,” she says. “I hate to say that but I think we basically have different philosophical views on some items and this happened to be one of them.”
The new capital budget also includes more funding to external agencies and a library branch in Newburg. Those funds will be generated by delaying some bond issues and through the revised pension bill expected to pass in the state general assembly Friday.