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March Update

March 1, 2020

EVENTS

Post Tornado Information

In the wake of Tuesday morning’s tornado, Nashville is assessing damage, and those who were spared are looking for ways to help. Hands On Nashville (HON) is collaborating with the Mayor’s Office and the Office of Emergency Management to determine the greatest needs and to coordinate the volunteer response. They are planning large cleanup events this weekend. Here are ways to be part of the recovery:

  • Volunteer: If you’d like to register to volunteer, visit hon.org and click the blue button on the home page. You can get the latest updates on volunteer needs via HON’s blog, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
  • Donate money: The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee is managing an emergency response fund.
  • Donate items: The Community Resource Center, which is in particular looking for personal hygiene items, bleach, trash bags, gloves, box cutters, baby and toddler clothes, formula, underwear, bras, batteries, and baby food.
  • Donate food: Organize a drive through Second Harvest Food Bank.
  • For more information, contact Jann Seymour, Operations Manager at Hands On Nashville at 615.298.1108 ext. 409

Brush Pick-up

Brush Pick-up begins in Areas 4,5,6,7 starting March 5. This includes the Percy Priest are, south Nashville, Antioch, and neighborhoods east of Hillsboro Rd and I-65. The schedule can be found at here. Because of all the debris from the tornado, the schedule may be extended.

Metro Public Works has issued the following preliminary guidelines for residents who need to place tornado debris at the curbside for collection:

  • All items and materials MUST be separated into three different piles and placed at the curb or street side for collection. If the debris is not separated, it will not be collected. The three different classifications for collection are:
      1. White goods and metals (appliances, etc.)
      1. Construction and demolition debris (lumber, windows, etc.)
      1. Vegetation (brush, limbs and all other yard waste)
  • Items should NOT be placed in public alleys. Alleys need to remain clear for emergency crews and trash collection services.

  • Household trash should be set out with regular weekly curbside garbage pick-up.

While Public Works is still finalizing a comprehensive plan and schedule for debris collection, residents can go ahead and place items out for collection. All debris and tornado-damaged items should be placed at the curb/street side for collection. Davidson County residents SHOULD NOT bring these items to Metro Convenience Centers for disposal. For additional information, residents can use hubNashville by calling 311, downloading the hubNashville app, or visiting hub.nashville.gov.

Voting Rights

Clinics for restoration of voting rights will be held at Hadley Park 12-4 on March 7, April 4 and May 2 from 12-4.

Metro Historic Commissions Awards

March 13 the deadline for the Metro Historic Commission Awards program. Neighbors can nominate properties that have been historically renovated or new properties that have been designed sensitive to the historic nature of the neighborhood. To be considered, nominated properties must be located in Davidson County and, with the exception of the infill construction category, must have been built no later than 1969. Infill projects should be no older than 2017. Categories for nominations include Residential Properties (single-family and multi-family), Commercial Buildings, Religious Properties, Engineering and Industrial Structures, Educational and Institutional Buildings, Monuments and Memorials, Infill Construction (NEW structures located within a context of historic architecture). For more information email Scarlett Miles.

Conference 4 Neighborhoods

The Neighbor to Neighbor Conference 4 Neighborhoods happens Saturday, March 28 at Croft Middle School. This is a one-day training and networking opportunity for anybody who wants to make a positive difference in their neighborhood. Sessions include “Making Government Work for your Neighborhood”, “Schools & Neighborhoods”, “Beautification and the Environment”, and more. Information and registration are at the Neighbor 2 Neighbor website.

Budget

Budget Community meeting schedule. Bob Mendes, chair of the Council’s Budget Committee, is continuing community meetings around the county to explain the budget process and gather citizen input. The remaining meetings are:

  • March 9, 6-7:30 p.m. - Church of Christ in Green Hills, 3805 Granny White Pike
  • March 10, 6-7:30 p.m. - Bellevue Public Library, 720 Baugh Road
  • March 12, 6-7:30 p.m - Hermitage Public Library, 3700 James Kay Lane

This is good opportunity to learn how the budget process works and to express your opinions on what the city’s budget priorities should be.

Nashville Reads

The Nashville Public Library is once again sponsoring a city-wide book club through Nashville Reads. This year for the first time, the book is a picture book - “Dreamers,” by Yuyi Morales. An adult story, this the author’s story of coming to this country with her one-year old son, not knowing the language, not having resources and how things changed as soon as she found the public library! Morales is also the illustrator. Book discussions will be scheduled in the coming months, and I’m planning to lead on in April. Find out more here.

Tree Sale

Nashville is actively working to protect and replenish our tree canopy. Trees provide shade and wildlife habitat, reduce stormwater run-off, diminish heat island effect, and raise property values. Neighbors can help replace lost canopy by ordering and planting trees from the Nashville Tree Conservation Corps. The selection includes oaks, maples, dogwoods, cherry trees and other beautiful flowering and shade trees at reduced prices. For those who prefer, tree planting services can be included for an additional fee. The ordering deadline is March 17. For more information, visit the NCTT page.

Transportation Options

Improving transportation options continues to be one of the major issues of livability in Nashville. The Mayor’s Office hosted eleven public listening sessions in January and February of 2020. Based on the input from these sessions and from conversations with community leaders and stakeholders the Mayor’s Office will issue initial recommendations in late spring of 2020 and release a full transportation plan by the end of September 2020. More information about the Mayor’s Office transportation plan listening sessions can be found here.

Richland Creek Run

The Richland Creek Run is returning for its 14th year on April 11! Runners can support Greenways and enjoy:

  • Certified 5-mile course through Historic Sylvan Park and along the beautiful Richland Creek Greenway.
  • Awesome post-race party at M.L. Rose Craft Beer & Burgers with awards, door prizes, silent auction, and beer specials!
  • Bark Station sponsored by VCA Murphy Road Animal Hospital for all your furry friends!

Information is at the Richland Creek Run website.

Hands On Nashville Day

Hands On Nashville Day is May 2, a city-wide day of service where volunteers tackle done-in-a-day improvement projects at local nonprofits and civic agencies. Projects open for registration on March 2. Extra hands will be needed to help with tornado recovery efforts. Sign up at hon.org

ISSUES

I-440 Lighting Updates

Neighbors have raised questions about the new TDOT lighting on I-440. It is brighter and more uniform than the previous lighting system, which is safer if a car needs to pull over for emergency repairs. I have met with TDOT and NES about making adjustments where the lights are shining over the sound wall into people’s homes. They are willing to readjust angles if they are provided with specific addresses. I am asking affected residents to contact me with their address so I can pass those on. Signing the petition has made a powerful statement, but we can’t use those signatures to identify locations since addresses were not included.

Metro Budget

The Metro Budget process is well underway. The Mayor’s Office has heard from most departments and will be putting together a proposed budget for the Council to review and amend as we deem necessary. The city is finishing a year where revenues and spending were not well matched, and we have made ends meet through “departmental savings” and delaying raises and hiring. We are at the point where we will need to have serious conversation about ways to provide the level of service that Nashville taxpayers expect and deserve. This will be even more critical with the need to rebuild after the tornado.

Affordable Housing

Tennessee Housing and Development Authority (THDA) maintains a website of affordably priced housing and is working to notify all landlords that this free listing is available. For more information, go to TNHousingSearch.org or call 1-877-428-8844.

Real ID

A Real ID will be required to travel by airplane starting October 1. ID’s can be obtained at Davidson County’s full service driver service centers on Hart Lane or Hickory Hollow Parkway and downtown at the Express Center. At least four pieces of identification are required:

  • Proof to establish citizenship or legal presence
  • Proof of your full Social Security Number
  • Two proofs of Tennessee residency

You should also be prepared to provide documentation of any name changes that may have occurred. Lines are expected to get longer as the deadline approaches so travelers will want to plan ahead. More information is available here.

Natural Gas

Smell natural gas? Get out fast! Call 911! With extensive damage to homes and buildings from the tornado that struck Nashville and parts of central Tennessee overnight, Piedmont Natural Gas is sharing important safety precautions for customers and residents in areas where storm damage may have caused damage to natural gas infrastructure.

Piedmont is sharing the following safety reminders:

  • If you smell natural gas, get out of the structure and leave the area as fast as possible.
  • Do NOT turn light switches on or off or use your cellphone or any other device that could create a spark and ignite natural gas.
  • Do NOT open any doors or windows to ventilate.
  • Do NOT light a match.
  • Do NOT attempt to locate the source of the leak.
  • Do NOT attempt to stop a leak.
  • Once you are a safe distance from the building, use your cell phone or a neighbor’s phone to call 911 and report a suspected leak.
  • Do NOT re-enter the building until first responders and Piedmont service technicians have declared it safe to do so.
  • Do NOT attempt to operate pipeline valves yourself. You may inadvertently cause more danger or additional damage.
  • Do NOT attempt to extinguish a natural gas fire.

In addition to the rotten-egg odor, natural gas leaks can be detected in other ways: Leaks can often cause bubbling water, blowing dirt or dead plants, as well as sink holes and exposed pipe. Leaks can also cause a hissing sound near a natural gas line or meter.

In Conclusion

I hope everyone who was impacted by the storm has found shelter. To get information about recovery efforts or to provide information about damage, visit the Metro website. We can survive this and even come out stronger if we all pitch in and help each other. Nashville has shown that this is something we do well.

Please let me know how Metro can serve you at burkley.allen@nashville.gov or 615-383-6604.

Burkley Allen
Metro Council At-Large

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