Public Works Director Defends Quick Action in Stimulus Proposals

Budget hearings continued today before Louisville’s Metro Council. Some council members took the opportunity of having public works officials before them to criticize the way stimulus project have been handled so far.

Public Works Director Ted Pullen was before the council’s budget committee to outline his department’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Councilman Hal Heiner told Pullen he was disheartened by the fact that the council wasn’t consulted on how to best spend the 23-million dollars sent to the city in stimulus funds.

“Just for the future, we’re trying to get a closer working relationship here, and we have that on many projects, but on the stimulus one, there’s just… there’s no communication,” says Heiner.

Pullen said it was all his team could do to get the proposals in place by the short deadline.

“We were pressed so early on that things had to be here, here and here,” says Pullen, “and basically they said, you could only go with what you had. And basically, we had to fight tooth and nail to buy any extra time.”

Budget hearings continue next week, with testimony from the Neighborhoods Department, Greater Louisville, Inc., and two public comment sessions.