I am pleased to be sending out my first monthly update as a newly elected Council Member At-Large. Great things are happening in Nashville, and we’ve got a new directive to focus on neighborhoods that I think can return the general mood back to optimism. We can make this a good city for everyone. It has been fantastic getting to know so many new people as I traveled around the county on the campaign trail. Nashville is a wonderfully diverse place, and I am excited about serving the whole city. I’ll be serving on the Budget and Public Works Committees and as Chair of the Affordable Housing Committee.
WeGo Public Transit Update
On September 29 WeGo Public Transit implemented system-wide service changes that are a combination of rescheduling, rerouting, combining, and route eliminations. These changes were made to address the agency’s $8.7 million operating budget deficit for the 2019-2020 Fiscal Year caused by the unfortunate combination of Metro’s budge challenges and the loss of a state energy grant. Information about the changes is available at the WeGo Transit website. Schedule racks at WeGo Central will begin to be updated by Friday, September 27 with printed schedules for routes with major changes. Printed schedules will be available for all remaining routes by October 4.
Community Shred-It Day and Pharma Trash Disposal
Metro Crime Stoppers is offering Community Shred-It Day and Pharma Trash Disposal on Saturday, October 5, from 9:00am - 1:00pm at Nissan Stadium parking lots B and D (enter from Interstate Drive). Personal documents will be instantly destroyed by a Shred-it mobile cross shredder and will be recycled to protect owners from identity theft and to help protect the environment! A $5 per box donation benefits Nashville Crime Stoppers. ALL donations from this event go directly to their reward fund!! Receipts will be made available for the tax-deductible donation. The Metro Nashville Police Department’s Auto Theft Unit will also be on site to do VIN etching with a suggested $10 donation to Nashville Crime Stoppers, Inc. For more information on the VIN etching, contact Auto Theft Unit at 615-862-7612 or 615-862-7609. Metro officers will also be collecting prescription medications that are longer needed to properly dispose of them and prevent abuse.
Street Sweeping Schedule
The Street Sweeping Schedule is published monthly on Metro’s Open Data website. Moving cars off the street on sweeping day will help Metro Water Services get debris and leaves off the street before they end up in the storm sewer system and clog it up. And since leaves have already started to fall, please remember not to blow your leaves into the street. Metro will pick them up if they are bagged in compostable bags, which can be bought at most hardware stores. This is also a great time of year to Adopt-A-Storm-Drain at their website here. Pick a storm drain near you and commit to keeping it free of sticks, leaves, and trash to keep our water ways clean and help prevent flooding on your street during heavy rains.
Brush Pick-up in Green Hills and the Belmont Hillsboro and 12th South Neighborhoods is already under way. Pick-up for Hillsboro West End, Whitland, and Bellevue begins Oct 4. On October 22, pick-up starts in Buena Vista, College Heights, Cockrill Bend, the Nations, and Charlotte Park. On October 29, pick-up begins in Joelton, Scottsboro, Bells Bend, Bordeaux, Haynes Park, and Trinity Hills. Neighbors can confirm dates on the Public Works website here. Remember to put leaves in compostable bags and place brush piles away from utility poles so the machinery can pick them up safely.
Fall is a great time for home tours. The Belmont Hillsboro Neighborhood Home Tour takes place Saturday, October 5 from 11am - 5pm. Tickets can be bought ahead of time at Hillsboro Hardware or on-line at the Belmont Hillsboro website.
I-440 Construction Update
The I-440 construction has now moved to the outer two lanes and bridge widening. Crews are breaking up the old concrete road to re-use the crushed concrete as base for the new asphalt road.
Metro Recycling Program
Metro Public Works is adjusting the city’s Recycling Program in response to several factors. As the world market for recyclable materials has changed, processors are demanding less contamination and taking only materials that are practical to recycle. Cardboard, aluminum and metal cans, and #1 and #2 plastic still have very strong markets and really do get turned into new products in an economic and sustainable way. If there is a triangle with a 1 or 2 inside, it should be recycled. It is absolutely worth the effort to rinse them out and put them in your recycling bins or take them to a collection center. Other types of plastic are less likely to be delivered to a processor and more likely to end up in the land fill just because no processors are located close enough to make it worth the transportation cost. That includes many types of take-out “clamshell” containers. Plastic bags are especially a problem at Metro’s sorting facility and should never be put in the recycling. They tangle up the machinery and frequently shut down the whole operation. Kroger and Publix grocery stores will take plastic grocery bags and other plastic bags labeled with a 4 in the triangle. Better than recycling those bags, shoppers can get in the habit of keeping a few reusable bags on-hand and using those instead.
Zero Waste Solid Waste Master Plan
The city does have a long-range plan to reduce waste overall known as the Zero Waste Solid Waste Master Plan. The goal is to reduce our dependence on shrinking landfill space and move toward throwing almost nothing away. The research for the Master Plan determined that close to half of Nashville’s trash is food waste or otherwise biodegradable material. The city is already working with grocery stores to redirect food that has been thrown away in the past for being just beyond expiration dates or blemished to match it up with food banks or hunger organizations. Residents can help by composting household food waste. There is helpful information on the Public Works website. The next biggest dent in waste reduction can come from increasing recycling by making it more convenient. Public Works plans to start offering twice monthly recycling pick-up later this year. More information about the Zero Waste Master Plan is available here.
Historic Design Guideline Consolidation
The Metro Historic staff has been working with representatives of Nashville’s many historic districts on a project for Historic Design Guideline Consolidation. The draft report was presented to the Metro Historic Zoning Commission (MHZC) last month, and community meetings are being held to allow for citizen input. The final two meetings will be held:
- 10/7, 6pm, at the McCabe Park Community Center, 101 46th Ave N
- 10/21, 6pm, at the Martin Professional Center, 2400 Fairfax Avenue
The project also includes a plan book to allow more flexibility in design of Accessory Units in historic districts. The plan book and consolidated guidelines will be back before the MHZC after comments from the community meetings are reviewed and incorporated where appropriate.
Community Education Commission (CEC) and the Industrial Development Board (IDB) Vacancies
Vice-Mayor Jim Shulman has announced vacancies for the Community Education Commission (CEC) and the Industrial Development Board (IDB). The Metropolitan Council is responsible for the appointment of new members to fill these vacancies. The Community Education Commission oversees the operation of the Community Education program, which offers affordable weekly classes in diverse subjects including art, career training, foreign languages, legal topics, and wellness. Members of the CEC serve terms lasting three (3) years. Nominations for the CEC must be submitted in writing and filed with the Metropolitan Clerk at email@example.com not later than 4:00 p.m. on October 8, 2019. The Clerk will then provide a questionnaire which must be returned within three days. Nominees will be announced at the October 15 Council meeting. CEC Nominees must meet with the Council’s Rules-Elections-Public Elections Committee on Tuesday, November 5 before the election to fill the seat at the Council meeting on that same evening. The function of the Industrial Development Board is to acquire, own, lease, and dispose of properties to promote industry and develop trade by inducing manufacturing, industrial, and commercial enterprises to locate in Nashville. Members of the IDB serve terms lasting six (6) years. Council Members will nominate candidates for the IDB at the October 15, 2019 Council meeting. IDB Nominees must meet with the Council’s Rules-Elections-Public Elections Committee on Tuesday, November 5, 2019, before the election to fill the seat at the Council meeting on that same evening. Registered voters in Davidson County are eligible to serve. Citizens who are interested in being considered should contact their council members and send a resume before the next council meeting.
I hope everyone’s Fall is off to a good start. Please let me know what you want the council to focus on this term. You can email me or call at 615-383-6604.
Metro Council At-Large