LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – In a press conference Tuesday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced his plan for spending $262.2 million of American Rescue Plan funds given to the city. Highlights include $100 million for affordable housing, $78 million for public safety programs, and $28 million in “Premium Pay” bonuses for essential workers in government roles.

The proposal shows very different priorities from Metro Council’s August survey of about 2,000 people from across Louisville.

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Voters select the top three priority areas that are most important in ARP spending.
Voters select the top three priority areas that are most important in ARP spending.(Louisville Metro Council)

The top three results from the survey:

1. Affordable / Government Supported Housing – 1009

2. Public Health – 661

3. Childcare / Early Childhood Education – 614

The mayor’s proposal and those who were polled agree on affordable housing spending, but no part of the new spending proposal is explicitly for public health. The mayor’s office said in a statement they hope to add childcare funding to the federal “Build Back Better” legislative package.

29% of the proposal is Public Safety funding, which ranked fourth on the poll. $35 million of the $78 million dollars would be to pay for suggested LMPD reforms from a third-party audit and the results of the still ongoing Department of Justice investigation into police practices. The remaining $43 million would pay for violence prevention programs, youth programs, and a Police Deflection program, among other projects.

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A pie chart depicting the division of Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer's proposal of American...
A pie chart depicting the division of Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s proposal of American Rescue Plan spending.(WAVE)

Days after the poll was released, the Office of the Mayor ranked their priorities for the spending. The top priority of housing was consistent but signaled their number two priority was workforce development and small business support. Number three was public health programs.

The mayor said Tuesday some of the unallocated $80 million remaining after this proposal will go to workforce development and the healthy neighborhoods project sometime early next year.

Spokesperson Jessica Wethington responded to this change in priorities by saying the city’s violence problem supersedes these less-immediate problems:

“As the Mayor said, it is critical that we use these federal ARP funds to address some of our city’s most pressing needs, and public safety must be our No. 1 priority. Early childhood will be considered for the third round of ARP funding early next year after continued coordination and discussion with Metro Council. In addition, we continue to monitor the federal Build Back Better legislative package, which includes potential opportunities to address childcare, as that will impact how we propose the third round of ARP funding be allocated.”

A complete breakdown of the proposal’s numbers can be found here.

The Louisville Metro Council will consider the proposal in several meetings leading up to a vote on Nov. 11.

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