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“I’ve fought very hard to make sure that people in the Iroquois area and the Central-South Louisville district know that the Southwest Dream Team is just as much for their issues as Valley Station,” Jarboe says. “The main thing the Southwest Dream Team has done is be a positive influence on this. For the most part there has been a lot of negativity. The residents that live out here, the business people out here, it’s been a negative thing. They say, ‘Nobody cares about us. The city doesn’t spend any money in the South End.’ We want to move past that. Whatever happened happened. The past is the past. We want to move forward being positive.”
South End officials have certainly adopted this perspective. Council members Blackwell, Welch, Marianne Butler (D-15), Dan Johnson (D-21), and David Yates (D-25) have pooled their resources to support several projects. Welch says there was cooperation between council members before the Southwest Dream Team was formed, but now a regional mindset is the norm. “We don’t see ourselves as separate,” she says. “We see ourselves as one region. Whatever affects the district next to me is going to affect my district too. We realize that it is harder to get things accomplished when we’re not united. We are learning.”
The formula was successful when it came to getting Metro government to allocate $9 million for a new Southwest Regional Library, the only capital project in Metro Mayor Greg Fischer’s first budget. As a mayoral candidate, Fischer had met with the Southwest Dream Team to discuss the South End’s priorities, including a new library. The new Southwest Regional Library will be a 40,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility when it is built on the property north of the Meijer’s Store, 9905 Dixie Hwy. The total project will cost $13 million, with the rest of the funding coming from the Library Foundation and donations.
“This city needs to be a life-long learning city,” says Fischer, who was at the Dixie corridor July 16 meeting. “This new library will provide South End residents with greater access to the digital highway and I think we’re all going to be proud of it. The Southwest Dream Team is a voice for this community. Consistency in leadership is the key to getting things accomplished.”
Over the last five years, Southwest Dream Team has also had some success attracting new business to the area. Most of the development is along Dixie Highway: Starbucks Coffee at Dixie Manor, 6801 Dixie Hwy.; Gould’s Medical Supply, 6802 Dixie Hwy.; Qdoba Mexican Grill, 6814 Dixie Hwy. (which had the biggest grand opening of any Qdoba franchise in the nation); and the Dixie Medical Center, 5120 Dixie Hwy. Developers Hollenbach-Oakley spent $2.5 million on the latter project, renovating the former Circuit City site that now houses Ellis & Badenhausen Orthopedics PSC.