Friday December 15, 2017
News Topics

Photo: Kentucky Derby Museum

The Kentucky Derby Museum received a grant from the Kentucky Colonels in the amount of $7,150 to help purchase a new golf cart for the Museum. After the success of both the Around the Golf Cart and Race Day Golf Cart tours, adding a second golf cart to the Museum’s fleet will help keep up with demand for the specialty tours, especially as Derby season fast approaches.

The Kentucky Colonels is an organization of talented and capable men and women appointed by the Governor because of their citizenship and service. Their primary objective is to support Kentucky organizations who stand ready to help our citizens everywhere. The Kentucky Colonels, through their Good Works Program, distributed $1.5 million to support 171 worthy causes this year, which will impact over 3 million people across the state.

“A Kentucky Colonel is more than just a certificate, it’s a group of compassionate individuals that care about the citizens of Kentucky and who want to make a difference. We harness our members’ generous donations and award grants to not-for-profits to help those most in need throughout the Commonwealth,” Barbara Dutschke, Commanding General of the Board of Trustees of the Kentucky Colonels said.

The golf cart will be ready for tours this spring. If you are interested in reserving your spring or Derby season tour, visit DerbyMuseum.org.

Drop off latex paint during business hours at the following locations:

Habitat for Humanity ReStore Locations (year round)

  • 2777 S Floyd St, Louisville, KY 40209
    • Tues – Fri: 10AM-6PM, Sat: 9AM-4PM
  • 4044 Taylorsville Rd, Louisville, KY 40220
    • Mon – Sat: 9AM-7PM, Sun: 12PM-6PM
  • 1631 Rowan St, Louisville, KY 40203
    • Wed – Fri: 10AM-6PM, Sat: 9AM-4PM

Paint is remixed for sale in Habitat ReStore locations in Louisville and the money raised is reinvested in our community to create affordable home ownership opportunities.

Louisville Metro Staffed Recycling Centers (March 15 -November 15 only)

  • Open Tuesday through Saturday 10AM-5PM
    • 595 Hubbards Lane, Louisville, KY 40207
    • 7219 Dixie Highway, Louisville, KY 40258
    • 7201 Outer Loop, Louisville, KY 40228

 

Guidelines:

  • Latex paint only
  • We cannot accept:
    • Leaking containers
    • Containers without labels
    • Empty containers
    • Containers with excessive rust
  • Must pass the shake test; paint should move inside the container when shaken
  • Paint that is oil based or requires thinners or solvents for cleanup must be taken to our HAZ BIN for disposal at 7501 Grade Lane Louisville, KY 40219

The Latex Paint Recycling Program is funded through a grant from the Kentucky Pride Fund.

Credit: Louisville Metro Police

Louisville Metro Government announced that it is beginning the process of exploring alternative locations for the Louisville Metro Police Impound lot.

The lot, located for at least 50 years at 1478 Frankfort Ave. in Butchertown, serves as the main temporary storage area for cars towed from throughout the city, and as a longer-term storage area for cars being held as evidence in a legal proceeding. It holds about 1,800 vehicles at full capacity, but frequently stores in excess of 2,000 vehicles.

The impound lot’s current location, bordering the Butchertown Greenway Trail and the main stem of the Beargrass Creek, is less than ideal for many reasons, said Theresa Zawacki, Senior Policy Advisor to Louisville Forward.

“Historic site management practices, including parking cars on gravel surfaces, have contributed to environmental concerns about contaminated soil and runoff into the adjacent Beargrass Creek,” Zawacki said.  “Part of the site is located within the 100-year floodplain. And it is additionally complicated by a high tension power line that crosses it, and its historic use as a landfill.”

The lot is in the middle of an existing network of greenway trails that provide access to Waterfront Park, the future Waterfront Botanical Gardens, and a future soccer stadium district. And a number of community groups have advocated for the connection and enhancement of these trails to provide transportation and recreation options for cyclists and pedestrians.

“On behalf of the 25 organizations and numerous individuals who have been involved in conversations about preserving Beargrass Creek, we are pleased to work with Mayor Fischer’s office to address the problems of the Police Vehicle Impound Lot and its impact on our environment,” said David Wicks, community advocate for Beargrass Creek. “We are optimistic that the removal of the towed cars from the floodplain and planting trees and other vegetation will not only help make our city more resilient to future floods, but will help address the past 50 years of parking wrecked and towed cars to this location. We stand ready to help the city implement a new solution for the impound lot, and are hopeful that it will lead to the implementation of plans for the preservation and restoration of Beargrass Creek.”

Councilman Bill Hollander, whose district includes the lot, agreed that, “There are better locations for a lot that stores vehicles leaking fluids than on a hillside that adjoins and drains into Beargrass Creek.” And he added that, “Space limitations at the current site are preventing us from towing abandoned cars from Metro streets.  I am very pleased to see the beginning stages of a plan to better treat the environment and serve our citizens.”

Metro will begin a two-pronged process of soliciting ideas for alternative locations for the impound lot in January 2018, starting with issuing a request for information seeking properties that fit the city’s search criteria for size, location and other physical and operational requirements. The second prong of this process will include public meetings where city officials can share information about its needs for the impound lot, and gather community feedback on potential locations and innovative ideas that could lead to alternative designs or management practices for the impound lot.

People will be invited to share that feedback online, as well as in person. Louisville Metro Government then would evaluate all ideas provided through spring 2018, with a goal of identifying a new location for the impound lot by mid-2018.

The city also will use this process as an opportunity to explore additional opportunities to protect and conserve sections of Beargrass Creek that it controls and to encourage other landowners along the creek to consider similar measures. And the city is investigating planting trees and native grasses to control runoff and prevent sedimentation into the creek, and will continue to conduct semi-annual testing of water that drains to the creek from the lot.

These steps are in keeping with the 2016 Beargrass Creek Trail Conceptual Shared Use Path & Ecological Restoration Plan, a joint project of Louisville Metro Parks and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which focused on Beargrass Creek from its confluence with the Ohio River to the area of the Grinstead Drive/Lexington Road intersection.

LMPD endorse the plan to move the lot, said assistant chief, Lt. Col. Robert Schroeder.
“Conditions and space limitations at this aging lot facility make providing top-notch service to the public a challenge,” Schroeder said. “We look forward to finding a new location for the lot that will hopefully make it more accessible to the public, better suited to the volume of cars we deal with, and a more pleasant place for our employees to work.”

The impound lot requires at least 15 acres of flat land, most of which will be paved for parking towed vehicles. The impound lot must have 24-hour controlled access and a small building for LMPD staff to use for public service and administrative purposes.

The practice of impounding towed vehicles is governed by Chapter 82 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes, which places limits on the imposition of towing, handling and storage charges on impounded vehicles and creates a process for appealing the validity of an impoundment.

Photo: Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation

Five Louisville Parks and Recreation community centers are hosting camps during the upcoming winter break for kids up to age 15.

“We’re thrilled to be able to provide programming for families who are looking for a safe, fun option to keep minds and bodies engaged during the school break,” said Seve Ghose, Director of Parks and Recreation.

Sun Valley Community Center’s camp is already full. Please contact the camp of your choice for more information.

BEECHMONT COMMUNITY CENTER
Wed, Thu, Fri, December 20, 21, & 22, 7:30-6 p.m.
Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, December 26, 27, 28, & 29, 7:30-6 p.m.

While school is out let us entertain your youth in a safe and monitored recreation program. Youth will take part in recreation programs ranging from crafts, sports activities, field trips and more. Dinner is provided. Youth will need to bring their lunch and snacks. Ages 5-12.
FEE: $100/7 days
Phone number: 502/361-5484

CYRIL ALLGEIER COMMUNITY CENTER
Tue-Fri, December 26-29, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
This program provides a safe and fun experience for youth while participating in out-of-school activities. Camp will include craft projects, field trips, and organized gym games. Ages 6-14.
FEE: $50
Phone number: 502/456-3261

DOUGLASS COMMUNITY CENTER
Tue-Fri, December 26-29, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
You’ll enjoy fun and games, and arts and crafts. Ages 6-12.
FEE: $80
Phone number: 502/456-8120

SOUTH LOUISVILLE COMMUNITY CENTER
December 20-22 & December 26-29, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Winter break camp. Space is limited. Ages 8-15.
FEE: $50/week
Phone number: 502/574-3206

SUN VALLEY COMMUNITY CENTER (SOLD OUT)
December 20-22 & 27-29, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Winter break camp. Ages 6-12.
FEE: $40 per child/ one week, $60 per child/both weeks
Phone number: 502/937-8802

The Metro Council will interview sixteen applicants to fill the vacant District 21 Council seat. President David Yates (D-25) has called a special Committee of the Whole meeting today, December 11th, at 4:00pm to interview the applicants.

Vitalis Lanshima has been reinstated as an applicant after a miscommunication occurred in trying to clarify a question about his application. The Jefferson County Attorney’s Office has given the all clear for his application.

The JCOA has also approved the addition of John Witt to the list of applicants. Mr. Witt had mailed in his application with a postmark prior to last Tuesday’s deadline.

Here are the fourteen applicants with links to their resumes:

Following the Special Meeting of the Committee of the Whole, the Metro Council will vote on District 21’s replacement at its December 14th regular meeting.

Under state law, The Metro Council is required to select a qualified person to fill the position within 30 days of the seat being vacated. The deadline for Metro Council action is December 17, 2017.

 

Photo: Louisville Metro Hall

Louisville Metro Government announced that it plans to hire a consultant through a competitive Request For Proposal process to review the city’s current and future facility needs, including the future use of LMPD headquarters, the Fiscal Court Building, and potential new construction through a public-private partnership on the parking lot south of Market Street between Sixth and Seventh streets.

The scope of the study will include the possibility of new construction, renovation, sale or facility purchase, as well as financing options.

The Metro Council approved $100,000 for the study in the 2017-18 fiscal year budget.  Louisville Metro Government leaders will appear before the Council Budget Committee to update the committee and solicit feedback on development of the RFP.

The study will include:

  • An evaluation of Metro Government’s current and future facility needs, including office space for countywide elected officials and including, but not limited to, the needs of the criminal justice system.
  • Consideration of a potential public-private partnership to construct a new office or mixed-use building on the lot behind City Hall on Market Street between Sixth and Seventh Streets, including the current LMPD headquarters at Seventh and Jefferson streets.
  • An assessment of the potential for new, modern LMPD headquarters;
  • An assessment of the Fiscal Court building, located on Sixth Street behind Metro Hall.
  • An evaluation of private market demands for new office or mixed-use construction and recommendations for potential financial structures for a public-private partnership

The RFP will be released no later than January 2018, with plans to select a consultant and receive preliminary findings by mid-year.

The administration is aware of the potential negative impact of pension reform on the city budget, but the need to plan for space needs is ongoing, as is seeking revenue enhancing measures such as public-private partnerships.

Credit: Louisville Metro Police

Chief Steve Conrad appeared before the Louisville Metro Council Public Safety Committee last week to update the work his officers are doing to combat crime in Louisville.

Though there are still a few more weeks in 2017, the Chief said his team is encouraged by decreases in most crime reporting categories for the year, which indicate that department strategies are having an impact.

Chief Conrad highlighted data that all police departments provide the FBI for the Uniform Crime Report, which shows decreases in most crime categories in Louisville through October, the most recent month available.

“The numbers I am reporting today speak to a strategy that is working,” the Chief said. “I share these numbers as an indicator of progress, as well as recognition that there is still a lot of work to be done.”

Through October, overall violent crime was down 2.25 percent; compared to being up 9.8 percent at this time last year. Property crime was down 5.37 percent, compared with it being up more than 6.4 percent last year. And total crime was down nearly 5 percent, when it was up 6.9 percent through October 2016.

Despite that progress, the Chief acknowledged “we continue to have a disturbing number of homicides,” which “is a serious issue and continues to be a concern for me and all the men and women of LMPD, as it is for the larger community.”

To date, there have been 101 homicides in Louisville Metro. While that is down 8 percent from the 110 at this time last year, the Chief said, even one life lost is too many, and there is still much work to do – and much work being done.

He outlined several crime-fighting strategies that are having an impact:

  • A reorganization of the Narcotics Unit has resulted in felony arrests up more than 46 percent; search warrants up 216 percent; the amount of heroin seized up 99 percent; and the number of firearms seized up 192 percent.
  • The LMIntel task force, which is a joint effort of LMPD and several federal partners, has made dozens of felony arrests, seized several firearms and recently announced a 40-count federal indictment aimed at members of a violent gang.
  • The 9th Mobile Division continues to target high crime areas and specific people involved in violent crime. To date, the division is responsible for 849 felony charges and has seized 604 guns in 2017. Of the guns seized by 9th Mobile officers, 51 percent were taken from convicted felons.
  • The Real Time Crime Center’s impact is growing as it provides valuable intelligence to investigations throughout the metro area.
  • ShotSpotter, technology used to detect gunfire in certain areas, is helping to get officers to scenes quicker, often before a 911 call can be made.

In his comments about those efforts and others, Chief Conrad praised the hardworking men and women of LMPD, saying they “are working very, very hard to make Louisville a safer city.”

“I am extremely proud of this department and the efforts we’ve seen this year,” he said, adding that his team is committed to continuing to work with other Metro agencies, Metro Council and community partners to further reduce crime.

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