Photo by Michael L. Jones

This week kicks off the dozens of budget committee meetings and first of three public hearings that will take place over the next two months, as Louisville Metro Council works to hammer out a budget for the next fiscal year that aims to fill a shortfall that has decreased to roughly $25 million.

Mayor Greg Fischer unveiled his capital and operating budget proposals to the council on April 25, which included cuts across all city departments totaling $25.5 million, plus 88 layoffs of city employees and 224 positions eliminated through attrition.

The cuts and layoffs in the proposed budget were not as steep as what the mayor first indicated in February was possible without new tax revenue — over $35 million in cuts and 317 layoffs — as the administration indicated that recent changes to tax receipts, revenue assumptions and health insurance premiums for city workers lowered the shortfall amount by around $10 million.

Now the Metro Council’s budget committee will take a closer look at the mayor’s budget proposal department by department, with the first of nearly 30 special meetings taking place Monday afternoon.

While the mayor’s budget director Daniel Frockt is set to speak before the committee on Monday to discuss the city’s revenue, operations, capital and debt, individual times have been set aside for each city department in the comings weeks.

In those meetings, department directors are expected to give presentations about their budget challenges for the next fiscal year, as well as take questions from council members.

Additionally, the first public hearing to take comments from citizens about the budget will take place Tuesday evening at 6:15 p.m. in the council chambers, following a budget committee meeting to discuss external agency funding in next year’s budget. The final two public hearings will take place in council chambers at 6 p.m. on May 16 and May 20.

A news release from Metro Council indicated that all applicants seeking external agency funding are strongly encouraged to sign up to speak at the hearing on Monday, as none of those applicants will be permitted to speak at the third and final hearing on May 20. The second public hearing on May 16 will be open to all speakers on the budget.

Metro Council must pass a budget at its meeting on June 25, which is the last meeting before the new fiscal year begins on July 1.

Below is a full rundown of the special budget committee meetings that are currently scheduled to take place over the next two months — dates could be changed and more could be added — detailing the city departments and agencies that are to go before the committee that day.

May 6, Monday

3:30-5:30: Revenue, Operations, Capital & Debt

5:30-6:30: Human Resources

May 7, Tuesday

5:30-6:00: External Agencies

6:15: First Public Hearing

May 8, Wednesday

3:30-4:30: Criminal Justice Commission

4:30-6:30: Parks & Recreation

May 13, Monday

3:30-7:00: Louisville Forward (including Economic Development, Develop Louisville, Codes & Regulations and Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund)

May 16, Thursday

6:00: Second Public Hearing

May 20, Monday

3:30-4:30: Youth Detention

4:30-5:45: Metro Department of Corrections

6:00: Third Public Hearing

May 21, Tuesday

5:30-6:30: Fire Department

May 22, Wednesday

3:30-4:30: Internal Audit

4:30-6:00: Office of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods

May 28, Tuesday

3:30-5:00: Office of Performance Improvement and Office of Civic Innovation & Technology

5:00-7:00: Facilities Management & Fleet Operations

May 29, Wednesday

3:30-4:30: Louisville Free Public Library

4:30-6:30: Public Works

May 30, Thursday

3:30-4:30: Emergency Services

4:30-7:00: Louisville Metro Police Department

June 3, Monday

3:30-4:30: Office of Resilience and Community Services

4:30-5:30: Metro Animal Services

5:30-6:30: Waterfront

June 10, Monday

3:30-3:45: Family Health Centers

3:45-4:45: Department of Public Health and Wellness

4:45-5:45: Jefferson County Attorney’s office

5:45-6:30: Jefferson County Coroner’s office

June 11, Tuesday

4:30-6:00: Budget call backs (departments returning to committee, TBD)

June 12, Wednesday

3:00-6:00: Budget call backs (departments returning to committee, TBD)

June 13, Thursday

2:00-4:00: Budget call backs (departments returning to committee, TBD)

June 17, Monday

3:00-6:00: Budget call backs (departments returning to committee, TBD)

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Joe Sonka
Joe Sonka is a staff writer at Insider Louisville focusing on government, politics, education and public safety. He is a former news editor and staff writer at LEO Weekly and has also freelanced for The Nation and ThinkProgress. He has won first place awards from the Louisville Metro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in the categories of Health Reporting, Enterprise Reporting, Government/Politics, Minority/Women’s Affairs Reporting, Continuing Coverage and Best Blog. Email him at [email protected]