by Gabe Bullard
The Louisville Metro Council’s Budget Committee will likely hear from arts and social services agencies this evening.
The second and final public hearing on the mayor’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year is Thursday evening at 5:30. The budget includes cuts in funding to several external agencies, and some of them requested more money in the first public hearing earlier this month.
Committee chair Jim King says the council will likely adjust the agency grants.
“I know there are several significant amounts that are necessary for organizations like the Center for Women and Families and Volunteers of America, among others, and we’re going to do everything we can to restore some of those cuts,” he says.
King says the budget is too tight to fully fund every organization that requests more money, but he hopes to balance the funding as much as possible. He adds that he and his colleagues are eyeing some more sources of revenue for the budget, including land sales and rebates on the new arena, but it’s not yet clear what will pan out.
One of the more contentious pieces of the budget is the $1.5 million in projected revenue from a proposed fee on burglar alarms. The council has not yet passed legislation imposing the fees, and King says he’s not sure if the budget should rely on the income.
“We think that there’s good public policy for having all the alarms registered,” he says. “On the other hand, we don’t know if the $25 fee is fair and how compliant people would be with that if we asked each person to send in $25.”
King says it’s too early to tell whether the money will be removed from the budget, or whether the alarm fee ordinance will be reworked.
The full council is scheduled to vote on a final budget next Thursday.