Monday August 19, 2019
News Sections
Photo: Louisville Metro Council

Councilman Brandon Coan (D-8) is encouraging property and business owners along Bardstown Road, Baxter Avenue and the Douglass Loop to attend the next public meeting for the proposed creation of the Highlands Management District on Tuesday, February 12th at HopCat,1064 Bardstown Road beginning at 1:00pm.

“Since the first public meeting in 2018, we have been working to contact each and every property owner in the proposed service area to educate them about our plan,” said Coan. “This meeting is part of a homestretch effort to secure the commitments we need to move forward.”

The Councilman is proposing the creation of the Highlands Management District, a nongovernmental safety and cleanliness workforce, along the Bardstown Road/Baxter Avenue business corridor.

Management districts are funded by special assessments against properties located within service area boundaries, and they are managed by a voting board comprised of district property owners. The proposed Highlands Management District special assessment is $0.1745 per $100 PVA.

Coan’s proposal is the result of months of studies, reports and recommendations by an exploratory committee comprised of property owners and other stakeholders in the corridor, in consultation with the Louisville Downtown Partnership.

For more information about the proposed Highlands Management District, contact Councilman Coan’s office at 574-1108 or visit www.tinyurl.com/BardstownRdBID for more information.

Members of the Metro Council’s Budget Committee will be updated on progress being made to create low barrier shelters and other programs for the homeless on Thursday, January 31st.

“This is the first meeting of the 2019 Budget Committee and the first time the full Committee will be updated on progress in delivering more services to our homeless neighbors,” says Councilman Bill Hollander (D-9), who chairs the committee.

There will be a special discussion with Eric Friedlander, Louisville Metro Resilience and Community Services and Natalie Harris, Coalition for the Homeless. The discussion will include updates on the use of the surplus funds allocated by the Metro Council for homeless services in December 2018. The creation of low barrier shelters and storage facilities are key parts of the effort to help the homeless this winter.

The Budget Committee will meet at 4:30pm in Council Chambers, Historic City Hall, 601 West Jefferson Street. The meeting is carried live on Metro TV, Spectrum Cable Channel 184 or on UVERSE at Channel 99.

All meetings of the Metro Council are streamed live. Go to the Metro Council Home page at www.Louisvilleky.gov/metrocouncil and click on the Metro Council Agendas link.

Mayor Greg Fischer announced today that the Office of Sustainability has implemented its first Energy Project Assessment District (EPAD) project with partner Citizens Union Bank (CUB).

EPAD is a tool that encourages property owners install energy efficiency mprovements, renewable energy and water conservation measures at commercial and multi-family properties, by allowing them to acquire private funding that can be paid off through a voluntary assessment administered by the Jefferson County Sheriff in the same manner as a property tax bill. The program allows property owners to extend the term of the loan to 30 years and finance up to 100 percent of an energy project’s cost.

The city’s first EPAD project was made possible through a loan from CUB and allowed property owner Tony Holland to construct a 15-unit apartment at 110 Weisser Avenue with high-efficiency heating and cooling controls, an exterior insulation system and cool roofing materials.

“I applaud the Office of Sustainability, CUB and Tony Holland for forming a partnership to make our city more sustainable. This project is a showcase of how property owners and developers can make a great financial choice that will have great environmental benefits for our community,” Mayor Fischer said. “Our city needs more lending institutions and property owners to partner with us on projects like this one.”

“We are thrilled to close on the first project of our EPAD program. EPAD will help promote energy efficiency and will ultimately contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the quality of life in Louisville,” said Louisville Metro Office of Sustainability Director Maria Koetter. “We applaud Tony Holland and CUB for paving the way.”

“At CUB we care a great deal about conservation efforts that benefit the communities we serve”, said David Bowling, CUB’s CEO. “We are proud to be able to partner with the City and property owners like Tony Holland on the EPAD Program. They were great to work with and hopefully this will be just the beginning of many similar projects in the future.”

The EPAD program offers unique benefits to the property owner, including low interest, and fixed rates that are affixed to the property title and not the property owner. That separation means the property owner is not tying up other credit lines for essential operating expenses.

Energy efficient improvements and renewable energy projects—like solar panels, green roofs and LED lighting—aid in Louisville Metro’s efforts alleviate urban heat and decrease the amount of pollutants impacting local air quality.

EPAD financing is available to office, retail, industrial, non-profits and multi-family residential units consisting of five or more dwelling units. Commercial properties include for-profit businesses and non-governmental, non-residential, tax-exempt properties such as privately operated community centers and hospitals.

An eligible energy-efficient, water-efficient or renewable energy improvement project must have a minimum cost of $20,000, a useful life of at least five years and be permanently affixed to the property title. Additionally, the property owner must demonstrate that the project reduces energy or water usage or generate renewable power for the property and that the improvements will remain with property upon sale or transfer of title.

The Kentucky General Assembly enacted legislation in 2015 authorizing local governments to establish EPADs and an ordinance approved by Metro Council in 2016 designated the entirety of Louisville Metro as an EPAD.

The city of Louisville is privileged to host the USA Cyclocross National Championships at Joe Creason Park December 11-15. This international event, coming on the heels of last year’s Derby City Cup, will feature nearly 1,700 top professional and amateur riders competing over the course of the week from 45 states.

The competition will also draw thousands of spectators from the city of Louisville and beyond, and the event area will feature an expo area, food trucks, hospitality tents and other temporary amenities.

Louisville Parks and Recreation and the host organization, the Louisville Sports Commission, are aware of the stress such an event can put on the natural balance of a scenic park such as Creason.

We are taking the following steps to ensure a return to its idyllic state following the competition:

  • Turf areas throughout Creason: As soon as weather permits, if an area is heavily compacted, we’ll aerate, plant seed, winterize the soil, and place straw through the impacted areas. It’s the same approach we took following last year’s Derby City Cup, and the park sustained no lasting negative impacts. We expect full recovery of the areas by late spring.
  • The Creason managed meadows areas: they’ve been cut for the season as the growing period has ceased for the year. When the course was laid out, we avoided particularly sensitive areas. We will replace impacted areas with native grasses and perennial seeds and use straw on areas that have exposed soil. We will continually monitor the area and treat for invasives (i.e. Johnson Grass) and remove anything that’s not desirable.
  • Also in the managed meadows areas: the parks volunteer coordinator and parks supervision overseeing the restoration of the park will be leading a flower bulb planting project in the weeks following the race to add some spring color to the park.
  • The woodland areas surrounding the course – we’ve removed invasive species such as Porcelain Berry and Tree Of Heaven, and along the slopes are employing erosion control methods, straw and silt fencing to keep litter and any pollutants away from the waterways

Questions? E-mail parks@louisvilleky.gov.

Mayor Greg Fischer joined AARP Kentucky State President Charlotte Whittaker today to celebrate safety improvements at Ninth Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard made possible by the AARP Livable Communities Initiative, which supports community efforts to increase livability and safety for residents of all ages.

The AARP initiative funds quick-action projects that build momentum for change in communities. AARP awarded Louisville $10,550 toward a $15,550 project that improves the intersection in three ways:

  • Upgrading crosswalks for greater visibility and pedestrian safety;
  • Adding plaza space and benches in front of an existing public art piece in the median;
  • And enhancing public art by adding a plaque to accompany Isaac Duncan III’s “Kae Me: The Lesson from the Black Star,” a piece that was erected in the median in 2003.

These improvements at one intersection is the first in a larger plan to reimagine Ninth Street as a safer, more pedestrian friendly corridor and add to the flow of investment into west Louisville, which totals about $1 billion over the past four years.

“Right now, we find that Ninth Street has unsafe pedestrian conditions, underutilized right of way and speeding cars. Our overall goal is to make Ninth Street safer for pedestrians, and the AARP grant is a great kickstart to the work,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “These improvements are part of about $1 billion in investment committee to west Louisville—including Passport Health Plan campus, Republic Bank Foundation YMCA, Beecher Terrace transformation and The Track On Ali.”

“AARP Kentucky is proud to support this community investment in pedestrian safety and making the neighborhood even more walkable,” said AARP Kentucky State President Charlotte Whittaker. “It’s an exciting example of how the AARP Community Challenge ‘quick action’ grant projects are helping make immediate improvements and jumpstarting long-term progress supporting residents of all ages.”

The grant is complemented by many projects along and adjacent to Ninth Street designed to break down this dividing point in our city:

  • Dixie Highway Bus Rapid Transit, which will run on Ninth Street when service begins in 2019;
  • Quinn Chapel stabilization starting in 2019;
  • The Knot, an inviting public art installation at Ninth & Main, debuting in early 2019;
  • Phase I of Beecher Terrace, a senior facility, finishing construction in 2019. Phase II, about 100 townhomes and apartments between 10th, 11th, Jefferson and Liberty streets will start in 2019.
  • And the extension of River Road west, which will connect to Waterfront Park Phase IV, starting in 2020;

The city has also applied for a BUILD grant to implement the Reimagine 9th Street corridor plan, which envisions an attractive, vibrant and safe connection between west Louisville and downtown. BUILD is the current iteration of TIGER, the grant that made has made improvements on Dixie Highway possible. The U.S. Department of Transportation will announce BUILD grant recipients by the end of the year.

Ninth Street from River Road to Broadway averages 142 crashes per year, and 255 jaywalkers per day. The city expects pedestrian and bike activity to increase along Ninth with the transformation of Beecher Terrace and the new Bus Rapid Transit line.

To learn more about the Reimagine 9th Street plan, please visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/advanced-planning/reimagine-9th-street

The Metro Council’s Public Works, Facilities, Transportation and Accessibility Committee will hold the last of two public hearings on the proposed Itinerant Vendors, Peddlers and Solicitors Ordinance this Tuesday, November 13th at its regularly scheduled meeting beginning at 3:00pm.

“At the first hearing, we heard from those vendors who are currently regulated by Metro Louisville to give us their input on what has been proposed,” says Councilman Pat Mulvihill (D-10), who chairs the Committee. “We are ready to hear and receive input from anyone else who has an interest regarding the regulation of these types of vendors.”

The second hearing will be held in the Council Chambers, 601 West Jefferson Street, 3rd floor.

“The Committee welcomes all viewpoints on this legislation. As we have said before we are taking the time necessary to make sure we have a good ordinance. After these two hearings we will begin to move forward with a final product,” says Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith (D-4).

Mulvihill and Sexton Smith are cosponsors of the Ordinances along with Council members Brandon Coan (D-8) and Scott Reed (R-16).

Signups for those wishing to address the Public Works, Facilities, Transportation and Accessibility Committee begin one hour prior to the start of the hearing on the 3rd floor of City Hall.

Speakers are called in order of signup and have up to three minutes to make comments.  Written testimony can be turned in during the meeting and occasionally, speakers are asked questions by the Committee members.

Speakers may use the Sixth Street entrance to Historic City Hall.

All meetings are carried live on Metro TV, Spectrum Cable Channel 184 or on UVERSE at Channel 99. All meetings of the Metro Council are streamed live. Go to the Metro Council Home page at www.Louisvilleky.gov/metrocouncil  and click on the Metro Council Agendas link.

To access the new page that explains the proposed changes in the Itinerate Vendors, Peddlers and Solicitors Ordinance, go to: https://louisvilleky.gov/government/metro-council/proposed-changes-itine…

Photo: Kentucky Cabinet For Economic Development

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer today joined community leaders, investors and Louisville Metro Government representatives to champion Opportunity Zones as a new tool to help revitalize Louisville neighborhoods. Additionally, the Mayor released the city’s Opportunity Zones Prospectus, a holistic document that showcases Louisville’s assets and will be shared with investors locally and across the country.

“Opportunity Zones are a new avenue for us to attract investment to areas of our city that already have momentum and could see tremendous growth and opportunity with additional capital investment,” said the Mayor. “We want responsible development and projects that benefit our residents by providing investment without displacement, which is why we’re working closely with community stakeholders, state, and federal government partners to ensure we are best positioned to put private dollars to work.”

Opportunity Zones are a new community development program established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. This program encourages long-term investment in low-income urban and rural communities nationwide by providing a tax incentive for investors to re-invest their unrealized capital gains into Opportunity Funds that are dedicated to investing in Opportunity Zones. In Louisville, 19 census tracts are designated as Opportunity Zones.

Transformation is currently underway in the city’s Opportunity Zones. One of the first Louisville investors to take advantage of the recently enacted Opportunity Zone legislation is The Marian Group through its spin-off and expansion of Blacksmith Iron Works, a fabrication and custom metal solutions business that recently moved into a 20,000 square-foot facility at 3100 Vermont Ave. in the Russell neighborhood. The Blacksmith Iron Works expansion will represent almost $750,000 of total investment in Russell and will include at least 16 employees by 2019.

“We are excited about this expansion for Blacksmith Iron Works and to be moving to Russell,” said Jake Brown, President of Blacksmith Iron Works and a Principal with Louisville-based developer, The Marian Group. “To be one of the first Opportunity Zone investments in Louisville just makes it better.”

Additional community partners that are investing in Opportunity Zones include OneWest, a nonprofit community development organization that recently purchased its first property on 18th Street with plans to redevelop it as a restaurant or retail space, and the Louisville Urban League with its $35 million Track on Ali project.

The team at Louisville Forward, the city’s community and economic development agency, is ready to work with businesses and investors to maximize Louisville’s potential for its Opportunity Zones by providing concierge project management, offering incentives for projects in CDBG-eligible census tracts, and working to accelerate the permitting process.

The city is also working to identify the needs of investors, developers and business owners, and then connect them with each other dependent on resources that will support each project. To be listed in the city’s database, complete the form found at https://louisvilleky.wufoo.com/forms/kzd6v3x13ol8kc/

To assist business owners and investors with identifying Opportunity Zones, the city created an interactive map to show exact addresses and boundaries of Louisville’s designated Opportunity Zones. To search Louisville-specific addresses, visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/louisville-forward/opportunity-zones-louisville

Archives