City announces plans for new LMPD auction batch to ease abandoned vehicle challenge
Mayor Greg Fischer announced today that the city has filed development plans with the Metropolitan Government’s Planning and Design departments to create a new auction lot for the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD).
The 5.32-acre site, located at 3502 7th Street Road, is owned by Metro Government and is currently undeveloped. The site will reduce the congestion of the LMPD impound on Frankfort Avenue and create the possibility of removing more abandoned vehicles from the streets.
“Our existing impound is a challenge that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic due to the slowing and stopping of auctions which, under normal circumstances, would help us get cars off the lot and off the streets,” he said. declared the mayor. . “We threw about a dozen potential sites to move the impound, but for one reason or another – cost, location, flooding – those locations weren’t suitable. Creating a separate auction batch is an innovative solution that will allow us to move abandoned vehicles off the roads faster, further meeting my # 1 priority, public safety.
The city plans to add features to beautify and alleviate any visual or security issues on the auction grounds, including lighting and chain-link fencing, tree and shrub planting, and 24-hour security. of 24. The site, about a four-minute drive from the central business district, is bordered by two businesses, a vacant lot, and a residential property to the west that is buffered by rail tracks and greenery.
The Mayor noted that once LMPD clears the vehicle backlog, created by the continuing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, “we will be engaging in conversations with the Town of Shively on the appropriate future use of the property. for the public when the auction lot is no longer needed.
“LMPD is delighted to move forward with the development of a new auction lot and we appreciate Metro Facilities for their work in making this a reality,” said LMPD Major Emily McKinley. “Abandoned vehicles throughout our community pose an extreme risk to the safety of everyone – residents, tow truck drivers and police. LMPD is committed to improving the safety of our streets and our community, and it’s a step in that direction.
More than 140 abandoned or damaged vehicles are waiting to be towed from the roads. LMPD will begin towing these vehicles to the new auction lot and then focus on transferring other vehicles from the existing impound lot.
Following a competitive bidding process, the city awarded the auctioneer contract to Auctions ASAP last month. The new lot will allow for in-person auctions that would take place twice a month, and typically announced five to seven days in advance.
In another effort to reduce the number of impound vehicles, Mayor Fischer at the start of the new year will sign the Louisville Metro Council order giving the city’s director of public works the option of declaring a period of amnesty, not exceeding 30 days, in which all towing and storage charges are waived for those who pick up their vehicles from the impound. The ordinance, adopted by council on Dec. 16, is designed to remove a financial barrier that can contribute to overcrowding at headlands.
“We have worked together for years with our LMPD, our facilities, Louisville Forward, the Metropolitan Council and the residents, to find solutions to the complex problems plaguing our pound,” said the mayor. “The new amnesty order and the development of an auction lot are examples of the Louisville Metropolitan Government’s commitment to finding innovative solutions to our challenges.
The city announced plans to search for a new location for the existing LMPD pound in 2017, citing space issues, as well as the lot’s negative impact on Beargrass Creek and the nearby Beargrass Creek Greenway. At that time, the city issued a Public Information Request, seeking properties that match the city’s search criteria in terms of size, location, and other physical and operational requirements. In early 2018, LMPD organized a series of public meetings and research-related tours, but could not find any other locations that met the necessary criteria.
The lot, located for at least 50 years at 1478 Frankfort Ave. in Butchertown, serves as the primary temporary storage area for cars towed from across town and as a longer-term storage area for vehicles held as evidence in court proceedings. Its capacity is around 1,800 vehicles but frequently stores more than 2,000 vehicles.
The development plan for the auction lot will then be subject to a review of community facilities by metropolitan government planning and design staff. A public meeting of the Development Review Committee to review the plan is scheduled for Wednesday, January 19, 2022 at 1 p.m. Residents can attend the meeting in person at the Old Jail (514 W. Liberty St.) or virtually. Details will be available at https://louisvilleky.gov/government/planning-design/upcoming-public-mee….
Once approved, work on the property would begin immediately.