Fischer presented his ideas on how community leaders on both sides of the river can work together to bring jobs to the area. The mayor said communities need to make it easier and more appealing for companies to invest in the area, and that businesses should look toward international markets.
The stimulus money came through the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Neighborhood Stabilization program. Mayor Greg Fischer says the house is one of several abandoned or foreclosed homes in the city to receive a makeover using federal dollars.
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.
Mayor Greg Fischer is reopening the Louisville Office of International Affairs with a new name: the Office for Globalization.
Local businessman Suhas Kulkarni will operate the office as an interim volunteer while he works to create a plan for funding it in the long term, likely through public and private dollars.
The Planning and Design Services department works on zoning, landmarks and other issues. The review will look at how the department can better serve developers and neighborhoods. It will be led by an eight person panel that includes representatives from the mayor’s office, the state resource council, home builders and preservation groups.
Every year, social service and arts groups that receive grants in the budget send representatives to speak at the Metro Council’s budget hearings. Mayor’s spokesperson Chris Poynter says those groups are welcome to speak at the upcoming mayoral budget hearings, but he would prefer if they attended only the March 1st hearing at Metro Hall.
Miller—who was elected last year to represent the 19th District—spoke up at a recent council meeting to comment on an action the council frequently takes. The body must approve contracts negotiated by the mayor’s office and other city departments. Miller took issue with the number of contracts that were renewed by departments then approved by the council without being re-opened for bids from other possible contractors.
Mayor’s spokesperson Chris Poynter says the city must now work on filling the soon-to-be empty retail spaces, particularly the one on 4th Street, which anchors 4th Street Live.
“It’s unfortunate that we’re losing an anchor tenant, but businesses have come and gone all the time at 4th Street Live, so we’re pretty confident the Cordish Company with their national experience and their retail experience can find a viable use for that space if indeed the Borders closes,” he says.
The Big Four Bridge has long been slated to be converted to a pedestrian span, but money to put a walkable surface on the bridge has not been available. Waterfront Development Corporation president David Karem says a portion of the funds will be available soon to start preparing the bridge for resurfacing.
The 8664 plan for the Ohio River Bridges Project (that’s an east-end bridge only and a parkway through Louisville instead of interstate 64) won the Louisville Big Idea contest.
The contest was put together by Louisville public Media (WFPL’s parent organization), DRIVE young professionals group and the Greater Louisville Project. Louisvillians were invited to submit their “big ideas” for the city. The ideas were then put to a vote, and the thinkers behind the five highest vote earners were invited to present their ideas to the mayor.