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Local News Politics

Blackwell Says Southwest Regional Library Bond Makes Sense in Latest Budget

City lawmakers from southwest Louisville are praising Mayor Greg Fischer’s decision to fund construction of the Southwest Regional Library in his latest city budget proposal.

The $9.5 million bond for the library is the largest expenditure in the mayor’s capital budget and the only proposed bond. It follow’s up a $500,000 allocation the mayor made last year to begin the design phase of the long-planned project.

The library foundation will also give the city $3.5 million for the facility.

“Some other mayors that weren’t quite as committed to what’s going on in the Southwest may have made the decision to cut this for this year, push it off to next year, put it off a couple years,” says Councilman Rick Blackwell, D-25, after noting that Fischer has long talked about a need to cut city spending and bring expenditures in line with revenues. “I think it’s a bold move for the mayor and it’s one the residents in Southwest Louisville certainly appreciate.”

The bond will take 20 years to pay off, but with the city currently renting space, Blackwell says it makes sense to bond the project.

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Local News Next Louisville

Southwest Regional Library Funding Relies On Design

Public hearings on the next Louisville city budget begin this week, and the first will be held in the Southwest Government Center. And it’s likely the discussion will cover plans for the new southwest regional library.

The southwest regional library is a long-planned project. The city owns land for the facility, and Metro Council members who represent southwest neighborhoods are confident the project will be partially funded in the next budget.

Councilman David Yates says the cost of the project will largely be determined by the design for the library, which is being put together now.

“From one degree to the other, it could be very, very different depending on what design we go with. We’ve also looked at some other funding revenues and ways to be able to get it together. So a lot of that will depend on what our final blueprint will be for the library,” he says.

But, Yates says the library’s design will also depend in part on how much money is available to build it. He says the library will likely be built in phases. He expects Mayor Greg Fischer to allocate some money to begin work on the project this year, with plans for further allocations in the future.

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Local News Next Louisville Politics

Blackwell Discusses Budget And Plans For Southwest Regional Library

A public meeting on the proposed Southwest Regional Library will be held Tuesday.

The event is one of Metro Councilman Rick Blackwell’s regular meetings with his constituents. Blackwell says library officials will consider comments from the meeting as they put together the final plan for the new facility.

That plan will help determine how much money the mayor sets aside for the library in the next city budget, even though all the funds necessary for the project may not be available.

“[It] works both ways,” he says. “The planning affects what it costs and the amount of money you can set aside for it affects how you may have to scale down your plans. There’s still a lot of work to be done between now and budget time in how you move forward with it.”

Blackwell says he’s asked Mayor Greg Fischer to follow up on his campaign promise and make the library a priority in the next budget, which will be introduced in the spring.

“My hope is that we keep moving it along in the process so hopefully this year we’ll have the decisions made about what we’re going to do and break the ground and get it moving,” says Blackwell.

The Councilman says the project has taken years to come together, mostly because it’s larger and more expensive than other libraries.

“The Newburg library and the Fairdale library were just new branches, where this is the first of the projected three regional libraries. So it’s a whole different ballgame,” he says.

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Local News

Public Input Sought on Fairdale Library

by Stephanie Crosby

A new library is planned for the Fairdale community and a public meeting tomorrow night will seek public comment on what should be included in the new facility.

Mayor Jerry Abramson announced last month he would include one-million dollars for a new Fairdale branch in his budget proposal, combined with another million dollars from the previous year’s budget.

Library Director Craig Buthod says the current library is cramped.

“This location has served us well for the last twelve years, but it’s a crowed space,” says Buthod. “There is limited space for public computers, we only have seven or eight computers here, we have limited space for books, all of that will be solved in the new library.”

The meeting about the new library will be held Tuesday evening at 6:30 at the existing Fairdale library.

More public meetings will be held next week for a proposed separate, southwest regional library.