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Council Passes Budget, Touts Teamwork

Louisville Metro Council members are touting their unprecedented teamwork in passing a budget for the next fiscal year.The council has bonded additional projects and freed up other sources of revenue to pay for some projects and departments. Other savings will be realized later in the year, when the council decides whether to continue subsidizing Greater Louisville Inc, Operation Brightside and the Department of Neighborhoods, all of which have only been funded through December.Budget committee co-chair Kelly Downard says the council's new power over future budget revisions grew out of the body's desire for more input on the mayor's financial decisions."Oversight is kind of a strong word," says Downard. "I think we're working better in cooperation now. We used the word oversight then in desire for it because we felt excluded. We're not excluded at all and I think it's going to be a cooperative effort going forward."Three of the four proposed furlough days for Metro employees have also been delayed until 2010. Budget committee chair Jim King says the decisions made at the end of the year will depend on the departments' performance and city revenues, which the council will monitor each month."It's going to require vigilance and that's the way the budget is written this time," says King. "There's an opportunity for look-backs and in six months we could be making changes or just moving forward with a continuation budget."The budget passed with only one dissenting vote.

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