Good morning: Here is a roundup of news in and around Louisville you may have missed.
General Assembly has another record year of lobbyist spending
Businesses and organizations spent $7.55 million lobbying the Kentucky General Assembly during the 2019 legislative session, which was 8% more than the previous two short-year sessions in 2015 and 2017.
Just as it was in the 2018 session, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce was the top spending on lobbyists with $112,740.
Coming in second with $103,729 of spending was the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, a group that typically is not a big player in Frankfort but successfully pushed a bill to change the requirements for nurses to prescribe controlled substances.
Altria/Phillip Morris, which lobbied against efforts to restrict or tax smoking and vaping, spent $98,762 lobbying the legislature, while the Kentucky Bankers Association placed fourth with $98, 735 — successfully lobbying to repeal the bank franchise tax and give local banks a tax break of $50 million.
Greater Louisville Inc. came in sixth, spending $62,455 on lobbyists.
Gov. Matt Bevin is expected to call the General Assembly together again for another special session that could take place as early as next week, in which he will call on then to pass a pension bill that allows quasi-governmental organizations and regional universities to pull out of the state pension system. The legislature passed such a bill on the last day of the 2019, but Bevin vetoed it. —Joe Sonka
Logan Street Market announces Fresh Stop Market partnership
Logan Street Market, the highly anticipated public market concept slated to open this summer, announced a partnership with New Roots Fresh Stop Market.
New Roots is a nonprofit that advocates for fresh food access to all, year-around. The Fresh Stop Market concept is an effort to efficiently make that happen to underinvested Louisville communities.
Customers of the Fresh Stop concept will pay ahead of time for shares of 10 different varieties of seasonal, local, organic produce. The produce will be distributed every other Tuesday at Logan Street Market.
The program kicks off June 4, and anyone interested can sign up online.
In addition, Logan Street Market announced that twice-weekly farmers markets will begin in July. Markets will be held Wednesday evenings, 4-7 p.m., and Sundays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., featuring local farmers, artisans, craftsmen and more. They will be held in the market’s Farmers Plaza on St. Catherine Street.
Finally, Sean Reynolds, former owner of Reynolds Grocery Company, was hired as Logan Street Market’s produce and farmers market manager. —Kevin Gibson
City of Jeffersontown seeks buyer for Gaslight Square-area tract
A 2.38-acre site just east of Watterson Trail is available and ready for development, and the City of Jeffersontown is looking for proposals.
The address for the property is 3608 College Drive, which is just east of Watterson Trail. It abuts 3rd Turn Brewing and is near many other restaurants, bars and commercial businesses. The city, which issued an RFP this week, envisions a mixed-use development but are open to other ideas, from a hotel to offices to retail.
Requirements for proposals include a narrative of the proposed development plan with investment estimate; conceptual renderings; developers’ qualifications, and timeline for completion.
“This site offers a unique opportunity as Jeffersontown has become the place to be,” Jeffersontown Mayor Bill Dieruf said in a news release. “We see development of this property as the next major investment to enhance the Gaslight Square District and to offer more options for our citizens and for the increasing number of people who are seeking out Jeffersontown.”
Proposals are due by July 15 at 4:30 p.m. and can be submitted at Jeffersontown City Hall, 10416 Watterson Trail. —Kevin Gibson
UofL hires entrepreneurs to get inventions to market
The University of Louisville has hired three entrepreneurs-in-residence to help speed up the commercialization of inventions.
“UofL research has produced groundbreaking innovations that have impacted a great number of industries and could impact so many more,” UofL President Neeli Bendapudi said in a news release. “By pairing those innovations with seasoned, tested entrepreneurs, we can accelerate their journey from idea to the marketplace, generating new products and companies and making the world a better place.”
Each of the entrepreneurs — Josh Nichols, a biotech entrepreneur; Jeff Cummins, a finance and business development executive; and Charley Miller, a tech startup founder — will serve a six-month term that began last month.
The university said that funding for the entrepreneurs comes from the Louisville Entrepreneurship Acceleration Partnership, a public-private partnership led by UofL and backed by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. The university could not immediately say how much the program costs. —Boris Ladwig
Irish Hill highest rent area in Louisville, Shively lowest, per report
A new report from Apartments.com shows that Irish Hill is the most expensive neighborhood in which to rent in the Louisville area, while Shively is the cheapest.
The average rent in Irish Hill is $1,327, while in Shively the average is $533 per month, per the report. Hurstbourne, which contains St. Matthews and Lyndon, are a close second on the high side at $1,245 monthly, with Downtown in the vicinity of Fourth Street right behind at $1,240.
On the lower end, Pleasure Ridge Park ($699), Southside ($689) and Taylor Berry ($604) all come in under the $700 mark. Clifton Heights ($881) and Fairdale ($746) are near the median.
The report includes only areas with 400-plus units. —Kevin Gibson
Report: NBC enters sports-betting with Kentucky Derby
The New York Post reported Thursday that NBC is adding an online betting system that will appear on NBCSports.com and its app in time for the Kentucky Derby.
“It is another preview of where the future of sports on TV is going,” The Post said. “With seven states having legalized gambling, NBC Sports has added the 30-minute show, “NBC Sports Bet: Derby Special” at 5 p.m. on Saturday as a digital companion to its regular TV coverage.”—Mickey Meece
Greater Louisville Inc. says GLIDE seats are available to GLI investors or a four-day, three-night study mission to the San Francisco area Sept. 8-11.
Ventas Inc. named Brian K. Wood, senior vice president and chief tax officer, to the role of head of the company’s Louisville office.