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Mayor Announces Cuts In Services

Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson has announced $3.4 million in service cuts to help close a $20 million budget shortfall.They include the closing of libraries and community centers one day per week, eliminating street and road paving for the rest of the fiscal year and reducing grants to arts groups by fifty percent."I'm not ready to say this is the end of cuts of direct services," Abramson said Monday morning. "We'll have to see whether the unions join the rest of us in insuring that everyone's got skin in the game and everybody's working toward a resolution."Abramson wants to rescind the two percent pay raises previously approved for all city employees, but is meeting resistance from unions that represent most of those workers.The mayor says he'll announce more measures to close the budget shortfall, including possible layoffs, as early as this week.The service cuts, and their savings, are:Eliminating street and road paving, $1.43 millionClosing libraries on Sundays, $165,0000Closing community centers one day a week, on Mondays, $105,000Closing at the Mary T. Meagher pool one day a week, on Sundays, $27,000Closing Otter Creek Park in nearby Meade County, $180,000Reducing grants to arts group by 50 percent, $511,000Reducing funding to Waterfront Park and the Belle of Louisville, $92,000Reducing grants to economic development agencies, including Greater Louisville Inc., Greater Louisville Sports Commission and area business groups, $242, 000.Eliminating funding for the Starfish swimming program, $90,000.Abramson also announced more than $527,000 in spending cuts in programs in the Neighborhoods Department, more than 11 percent of the agency’s budget.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.