July Update

July 1, 2019

Nashville MTA Bus Changes

Nashville’s bus service will see changes beginning August 2. The Nashville MTA Board of Directors voted to approve a series of WeGo service reductions and fare changes proposed by staff in May. These proposals were made to address the agency’s $8.7 million operating budget deficit for the upcoming fiscal year caused by a state funding reduction. The fare increase approved by the Board will make each one-way trip on regular bus service $2.00. Part of the fare increase will be invested to cover the costs of service added due to the feedback received during the public comment. Service changes that are to go into effect September 29th are a combination of rescheduling, rerouting, combining, and in some cases, eliminating routes that exceed a reasonable per-rider cost to operate. Changes were made to some of the original route changes due to public input. The fare for WeGo’s paratransit door-to-door service for Nashville’s residents with disabilities will increase from $3.40 per trip to $3.70 per trip. Change cards will be eliminated on December 31, 2020. A full breakdown of revisions to the original proposals is available on the WeGo Transit website.

Metro 2020 Operating Budget

After much thought and deliberation the city’s 2020 Operating Budget is finalized. This year’s budget of $2.3 billion includes $100,000 in new income from the city’s growth, that will go largely to a 3% raise for all employees, implementation of the Equal Business Opportunity Program, and an increase in debt service payments. There are still many questions about how to provide more funding for schools and the bus service. The mayor has recently shifted $8.7 million from MDHA to fund an additional 1.5% raise for teachers. Departments will continue to keep their budgets trim to ensure we are spending every dollar wisely.

Historic Zoning Commission Updates

The Metro Historic Zoning Commission is working with neighborhood representatives to consolidate the NCZO design guidelines. Neighbors who have not read the ongoing meeting summaries can do so on the Nashville Historical Commission’s website. Lindsey Moffatt, John Teselle, and Nancy and Ira Chilton have been serving on the Historic Guideline update committee for the historic districts in District 18. Part of this discussion has been the treatment of garages and accessory buildings. The project is funded under a grant contract with the State of Tennessee and in partnership with the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University.

Metro Elections

Metro elections for Mayor and Metro Council are August 1 with early voting starting July 12. New voting machines will include a paper ballot to provide a paper trail back-up to increase security for the system. Voters can see how to use the new equipment, on YouTube here. More information at the Nashville.gov. This is the everyone’s chance to have a say in how our city is run. There are many forums and endorsement websites to enable voters to learn about the candidates.

Neighborhood Trash Carts

Several neighbors have raised concerns about trash carts sitting with their lids open after trash pick-up day. This becomes a health hazard this time of year if rain gets in the cart allowing mosquitos to breed. This can be solved by placing the cart correctly on the curb. If the cart is placed with the handle toward the curb, then gravity will make the lid close as it is placed back down on the ground. This also prevents waste from spilling out before the cart actually tips over the truck. The top of each cart is imprinted with instructions and an arrow showing which direction the cart needs to face to ensure the lid closes as it is being set back down. Trash carts in alleys are emptied manually, and there have been occasions when the operators get in a hurry and the carts are not set down correctly after being emptied. This can be reported on HUB Nashville or by contacting the council member.

Adopt A Storm Drain

Metro Water Services still needs neighbors to Adopt a Storm Drain. Keeping drains clear of sticks, leaves, and trash can help prevent flooding during the big rain events that seem to be happening more and more frequently. To adopt a storm drain near you, visit Nashville.gov’s website.

I-440 Construction Updates

TDOT continues work on I-440. On the stretches from I-40 to I-65, contractors will be working on drainage, asphalt paving, the concrete barrier wall, and street lighting along the ramps. Widening of the bridge over I-65 is underway, with new columns being constructed. Weekend closures are expected for certain parts of the bridge construction. For more information, visit I-440’s Reconstruction Project’s website.

In Conclusion

I hope everyone is having a great summer and taking full advantage of the opportunities to learn about the candidates. Your vote is important. Let me know what is on your mind at 615-383-6604 or burkleyforcouncil@burkley.org.

Regards, 
Burkley Allen 
Metro Council 18th District

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