Memorial Tree Planting for Betty Nixon — Everyone is invited on March 9 at 11am to the Metro Parks Arbor Day Celebration at the Event Shelter in Centennial Park. A tree will be planted honoring the memory of Betty Nixon, former council member and neighborhood advocate who died late last year.
2017 Preservation Awards — The Metropolitan Historical Commission is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Preservation Awards program, honoring Davidson County’s best preservation projects. The public is invited to submit any building or structure, built no later than 1965, that has been restored, rehabilitated, or carefully maintained over time. The awards also recognize well-designed new construction that harmonizes with a historic environment. Buildings open to the public as historic sites are not eligible. Previous winners MAY be eligible if the work is significantly different. Categories for nominations include Residential Properties (single-family and multi-family), Commercial Buildings, Religious Properties, Engineering and Industrial Structures, Educational and Institutional Buildings, Infill Construction (new structures located within a context of historic architecture), Monuments and Memorials (cemeteries, monuments, stone walls, etc.). Nominations will be judged on their architectural merit and/or historic interest, soundness of condition, creativity in adaptation for contemporary use, and sensitivity to historic architectural integrity. Nominations are due Friday, March 10, 2017. Judging will take place in April 2017. Details will be available soon.
Construction Project at Orleans and Acklen — Neighbors are invited to meet with Paragon builders to learn about final plans for the construction of six new single-family homes at Orleans and Acklen. The meeting will be on March 28 at 6pm at a location to be announced later.
The Metro Rabies Clinic is offered the third Saturday of every month from February through November. The clinic is open from 8am to noon at the Metro Animal Control shelter at 5125 Harding Place and offers the three-year rabies vaccine at a low cost.
Brush Pick-up begins in BHN, Sunnyside, and 12th South on March 21 and in HWEN on March 28.
The Richland Creek Run, to be held on April 1, benefits Greenways for Nashville. Register here to join me on a 5-mile trot (or walk) around one of Nashville’s many great greenways. This event helps raise funds so that Metro can continue to build more greenways, including one in our neighborhood. It is a great cause, great exercise, and lots of fun.
The new property appraisals have been completed, and assessments will be mailed out in April. Since property values have risen all over Davidson County, it is possible that property taxes may increase for some homeowners. Residents over the age of 65 whose 2015 income was below $41,660 can apply for a property tax freeze. Applications for property tax freeze are due by April 5. Find information on how to apply here.
Walking District Pilot Approved — The Traffic & Parking Commission has approved a proposed Walking District on a pilot basis in Hillsboro-West End and in two other Nashville neighborhoods—Cleveland Park (East) and Una (Antioch). This will lower speeds to 20 mph on neighborhood streets and 25mph on collectors. In HWEN, the area covered is bounded by Blakemore, West End, 21st, and 440.
Public Works will install signage designating the neighborhoods as walking districts, replace the speed limits signs, and paint the new speed limits on the pavement. After the program has been up and running for six months, Public Works plans to evaluate its success in all three neighborhoods. The key indices of success will be measured reduction of traffic speed, zero pedestrian/bike crashes attributable to the changes, and positive feedback from neighbors. At that point the traffic engineers will make a recommendation to Traffic & Parking, and the Commission will vote on whether to make the program permanent. This initiative has had overwhelming support from the neighborhood, and we are very excited about the possibilities for Nashville generally.
BHN Traffic-Calming Initiative — The Belmont Hillsboro Neighborhood will also pilot a new traffic calming initiative, creating a temporary traffic-calming circle at the intersection of Elmwood and 15th for a week in April. The Nashville Civic Design Center’s tactical urbanism wing (TURBO) will guide volunteers in setting up the pilot, using fading paint and temporary planters to simulate what a permanent traffic calming circle would look like. Neighbors will have the opportunity to try this on for size for a week. If the feedback is positive, then a permanent version will be installed when the 12th South water main project is complete.
Construction on the 12th South water main replacement project will begin in March, starting on Linden between the 12th and 15th. Each leg of the project will take about a month to complete, with the whole project lasting approximately a year. This will involve Linden, Beechwood, Elmwood, and Sweetbriar between Belmont and 12th. Storm water improvements in several alleys will also be included.
FAQ Resource for International Families — Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) has worked with their partners serving the immigrant and refugee communities to create a frequently asked questions document for the many international families in the MNPS system. The FAQ is now on this MNPS webpage and has been translated into Spanish, Arabic, Kurdish, Somali, Nepali, Burmese, Vietnamese and Amharic. MNPS will be working with principals, the English Learning office staff, family involvement specialists, family information center staff, social workers, school counselors, and many others to try to spread this information.
Sidewalk Legislation — The Metro Council is finalizing legislation to update the requirements for building sidewalks with new residential and commercial construction. BL2016-493, sponsored by CM Angie Henderson, will be on Public hearing at the council on April 4. Emails of support can be sent here, or neighbors can attend the public hearing and speak for two minutes on the importance of providing sidewalks. I am a co-sponsor of this bill, and I think it is an important part of Nashville’s plan to fill in the gaps in our sidewalk network.
Opportunity NOW — After months of laying the groundwork for an ambitious summer job initiative for Nashville’s youth, Mayor Megan Barry joined with students at Pearl-Cohn Magnet High School to launch the Opportunity NOW job portal that will connect Nashvillians ages 14-24 with meaningful jobs and paid internship opportunities. At the event, Mayor Barry announced that over 7,000 jobs or paid meaningful internships have been secured and are available through the online portal, with a remaining goal of having 10,000 opportunities available by this summer. Opportunity NOW is a coordinated initiative launched by Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and the Nashville Career Advancement Center to provide young people in Davidson County access to employment. The initiative was created based on recommendations from the Mayor’s Youth Violence Summit as a way to connect youth to opportunity and to hope. Opportunity NOW is a much-needed system for delivering employment and employment-like opportunities for young people in the Nashville area, while benefiting the local economy. For more information, visit the Opportunity NOW website.
Food Saver Challenge — Mayor Megan Barry is calling upon local restaurants to reduce the amount of food wasted in their kitchens by participating in he Mayor’s Food Saver Challenge, which is a joint project with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Nashville Food Waste Initiative. The Challenge was launched recently at the James Beard Foundation’s Chef Advocacy Training in Nashville, where twenty-one well known local chefs received training, led by national experts, on strategies to reduce restaurant food waste. Participating chefs included Maneet Chauhan, Levon Wallace, Jeremy Barlow, Matt Bolus and Deb Paquette. Forty percent of all food in America goes uneaten, with 95 percent of that wasted food ending up in landfills or incinerators, according to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Restaurants can have a significant impact on combating this problem by preventing food from being wasted in the first place, as well as donating wholesome excess food to nonprofits working to relieve hunger among people in need. Cities play a critical role in mitigating America’s food waste. In 2015, NRDC selected Nashville as its pilot city for developing high-impact local policies and on-the-ground actions to address food waste. In partnership with the Mayor’s Livable Nashville Committee, Metro departments, and other local stakeholders, the Nashville Food Waste Initiative is currently developing strategies and practical tools to serve as models for other U.S. cities. You can learn more about this initiative here.
I look forward to seeing everyone outside on our sidewalks and greenways enjoying this lovely spring. Please let me know about your suggestions and concerns. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-383-6604.
Metro Council 18th District