Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer held the third in a series of citizen budget hearings Tuesday. This time, Fischer heard from various non-profit and social service organizations seeking grants from the upcoming budget.
Traditionally about five percent of the budget goes to outside agencies. As the city budget has tightened over the last few years, the grants have been reduced. Fischer told the crowd that once again it’s not possible to give every agency the amount it requests.
“We have approximately a general fund of about $500 million dollars,” he said. “We have an identified gap of about 22 million dollars right now. Which is not unusual at the beginning of a budget process.”
About two dozen organizations made their case for funding. Louisville Orchestra CEO Rob Birman told the mayor city funding is essential to the orchestra’s 120 full-time employees.
“Musicians, administrators, stage hands, etc. It’s a vital part of providing jobs and helping the local economy here in Kentucky,” he said.
The orchestra has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and has sought to cut the number of musicians to save money.
One of the largest requests came from the Center for Women and Families. The agency is asking for $400,000 to fund two programs.
“One of the key pillars of my administration is going to be not only prevention, but prevention to the children’s services,” said Executive Director Marta Miranda. “Our children pretty much just know violence through either being a victim or a perpetrator and we need to teach them something different.”
Fischer will draft the budget in the coming weeks and send it to the Metro Council in late May. The council will then have a month to revise and make any improvements to the budget.