The Community Conversation, held immediately following the Louisville Board of Aldermen meeting, on Tuesday, November 15, was well attended by local residents. Mayor Will Hill touched on an array of different areas, the first being general government, in which he discussed a comprehensive plan in place since 2016. The plan for Louisville included paving streets and other infrastructure improvements, facility upgrades and improvements on city property (parks, animal control, E-911, etc.), equipment needs in public safety and public works, and economic and asset development. Hill also discussed funding for such projects, including ARPA funds, MDEQ grants, bonds, and disaster recovery funds from MEMA. The topic of public safety encompassed the Louisville Police Department, the Louisville Fire Department, E-911, and the Department of Public Safety. Hill discussed community policing and the Bridge the Gap app which allows residents to take a survey and voice their concerns about policing. He also spoke of the need for residents to become acquainted with police officers and play a role in policing in the community, stressing if they see something, then say something. Fire prevention was discussed, as well as the city's fire rating and efforts to bring it even lower which will benefit residents financially. And Hill noted the equipment and technological upgrades at E-911 and the role of the Department of Public Safety in the city. Public works covered the areas of the Street Department, Maintenance, Solid Waste, and the Landfill. One of the main areas of focus was the city's recent purchase of two garbage trucks and taking responsibility for garbage collection. Hill stated the projected fee increases from a private company would have been exorbitant, and the city is saving money through the purchase of the trucks and saving money for residents, as well. Several other areas were discussed, including parks and recreation, economic development, the cemetery, the Louisville-Winston County Airport, Winston County Library, tourism opportunities, and ongoing projects. There were questions about street paving in residential areas, and Hill explained there is a plan to get all streets paved as soon as possible. To a question about community policing, LPD Chief Sean Holdiness reported the violent crime rate in Louisville has dropped more than 39% in recent months. Prior to the Community Conversation, the Board of Aldermen held a regular monthly meeting which covered mainly routine issues, including: •A 5-0 vote to approve a payment of $19.3K to Webster Electric for upgrades at Louisville-Winston County Airport. •A 5-0 vote to approve the following action items for the Louisville Rail Park Project: •Payment to Phillips Contracting in the amount of $31K. •Payment to Calvert Spradling Engineers in the amount of $9.1K. •A 5-0 vote to adopt a final resolution of a 5- year tax exemption of $59.7K from city taxes as approved by the Department of Revenue for Polo Custom Products. •A 5-0 vote to authorize payment to Trustmark of $50.3K for the 2020 GO Bond. •A 5-0 vote to promote Marissa Stanley from part-time to fulltime at animal control, effective November 17, at a rate of $12/hour. •A 5-0 vote to set a hearing for Jan. 3, 2023, for property located at 162 W. Jefferson owned by Truax Real Estate. •A 5-0 vote to accept the recommendation of the Zoning and Planning Committee for a Planned Unit Development on Ackerman Street. •A 5-0 vote to set regularly scheduled meetings for the Zoning and Planning Committee to be held on the Monday before the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. •A 5-0 vote to acknowledge the 2021- 2022 year-end delinquent/uncollectible accounts. •A 5-0 vote to approve the Municipal Compliance Audit. •A 5-0 vote to approve the suspension of the 2nd board meeting for December 2022. The next scheduled meeting of the Louisville Board of Aldermen will be Tuesday, December 6 at 5:30 p.m.