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December Update

December 1, 2020

Metro Schools have returned to all-virtual learning following the Thanksgiving break on November 30 through the end of the semester, December 17. Conditions in the city and in schools will inform the timeline for bringing students back to in-person learning, and schools may be required to remain closed or to close again after reopening, based on the spread of COVID-19. While schools are operating remotely, students ages 5 to 12 and the children of MNPS employees can enroll in no-cost-with-verification YMCA Emergency Childcare, which will provide students with supervision and support for virtual learning through Dec. 30, with the exception of Dec. 24-25. Read the full announcement here.

The Metro Council Budget Committee is hosting a series of webinars to provide detailed information to citizens about the budget process. These are broken into three categories – How we get the money, how we spend it, and a community panel discussion. The schedule is below:

HOW DOES THE CITY GET MONEY?

  • Nov 19, 2020 - Property Taxes - Assessor of Property Vivian Wilhoite, Trustee Erica Gilmore
  • Dec 3, 2020 - Sales Taxes and Downtown Revenue - Councilmember At-Large Bob Mendes
  • Dec 17, 2020 - City/State Revenue - Finance Director Kevin Crumbo and State Rep. Harold Love

HOW DOES THE CITY SPEND MONEY?

  • Jan 7, 2021 - Metro Nashville Public Schools - School Board Member Freda Player-Peters and Chief Operating and Financial Officer Chris Henson
  • Jan 14, 2021 - Metro Public Works and Parks Departments - Public Works Interim Director Shanna Whitelaw and Metro Parks Director Monique Odom
  • Jan 21, 2021 - Nashville General Hospital
  • Jan 28, 2021 - Public Safety - Metro Nashville Police Department, Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney’s Office

COMMUNITY PANEL DISCUSSIONS

  • Feb 4, 2021 - Community Panel Discussion
  • Feb 11, 2021 - Expert Panel Discussion
  • Feb 18, 2021 - How the Budget Process works
  • Feb 25, 2021 - Participatory Budget - Councilmember At-Large Zulfat Suara

This series of sessions will provide helpful information, and everyone is encouraged to participate as the council works through this upcoming 2021 budget year. Members of the public can watch the meetings live online here, or Metro Nashville Network on Comcast channel 3, AT&T U-verse channel 99, Google Fiber channel 3, and streaming on the MNN Roku channel. Links can also be found on the Metro Council Events Calendar.

The Metro Health Department has again made adjustments to requirements for Phase 3 of the COVID 19 Roadmap for Re-opening Nashville. Because of the increase in daily new cases in Davidson County, restaurants are restricted to 50% of capacity and gatherings of any kind are limited to 8 people unless a permit is obtained from the Health Department. As always, wearing a mask, washing hands, and keeping a safe distance from other people is the best way to avoid getting or passing on the virus. For the latest information visit the Metro Nashville Roadmap for Reopening website.

The Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation (CVC) has announced a “Love Thy Neighborhood” campaign to help support local neighborhood businesses during these challenging times. The CVC is asking everyone to post on their media channels, telling followers their favorite local spots in Nashville. Think: the local coffee shop you love, favorite place to grab drinks with friends, best place to buy a special gift for someone (or yourself), beloved dive bars, restaurants, etc. The only requirement is for it to be a local spot. They ask that you tag those places (if able) to show them some love.

Directions:

  1. Download a graphic to use for your specific platform: Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram
  2. Pick your favorite local Nashville spots.
  3. Tag them, tell your followers why you love them.
  4. Encourage your followers to safely support these small, locally-owned businesses. Ask your local followers to share your post and tag THEIR favorite Nashville spots. The more, the merrier!
  5. Tag @visitmusiccity and use the hashtag #LoveLocal, #Nashville, and #MusicCity

Copy and Paste the message below to your social account and tag your favorite locally-owned businesses: “Keep Music City singing and join me in supporting Nashville’s unique neighborhoods by shopping, eating, and playing at local businesses. Here are a few of my favorite local spots in town: [INSERT FAVORITE SPOTS HERE] Share this post and tag your Nashville favorites! @visitmusiccity #LoveLocal #Nashville #MusicCity”

If you are looking to support local businesses, check out their Local Deals webpage for special offers to help you save. For more information on the Love Thy Neighborhoods campaign, visit: their website.

I also have yard signs promoting the campaign. Let me know if you need one. Thank you for supporting the Love Thy Neighborhoods campaign and stirring up some much-needed business for our community.

Nashville General Hospital is once again asking for help to provide warm clothing to patients when they leave the hospital. Neighbors can provide new socks, gloves, hats, blankets, ponchos, sleeping bags, jackets, sweatshirts, and lip balm for adults and adolescents at 1818 Albion Street or mail cash donations online at the Nashville General Hospital Foundation website.

Trash & Recycling Adjusted Holiday Schedule: There will be no trash or recycling collection on Christmas Day, December 25, or New Year’s Day, January 1. If trash is regularly collected on Friday or recycling is the Friday of the holiday, trash and recycling will be collected the following Saturday. Carts should be out no later than 7 A.M. on Saturday. All other routes remain the same. Metro Convenience Centers will also be closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day. They will operate under regular business hours the rest of the week.

Christmas Tree-Cycling: Recycling Christmas trees into mulch, rather than putting them in the trash, keeps them out of landfills and helps save Metro the cost of disposal fees. In partnership with Metro Parks and Living Earth, the Christmas Tree Recycling Drop-off program will run from December 26 to February 17, 2021 at twelve Metro Parks and both of the Living Earth facilities. Trees can be taken to the following locations:

  • Cane Ridge Park
  • Una Recreation Center
  • Whitfield Park
  • Cedar Hill Park
  • Two Rivers Park
  • Joelton Community Center
  • Sevier Park
  • Richland Park
  • Elmington Park
  • Edwin Warner Park
  • Lakewood City Hall
  • Frederick Douglas Park
  • Both of Living Earth’s locations at 1511 Elm Hill Pike and 6401 Centennial Blvd. Living Earth’s of Tennessee’s operating hours are Monday thru Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday 7:30 a.m. to noon

Trees must be cleaned of all ornaments, lights, wire, string and other decor before bringing them to be tree-cycled. No artificial or flocked trees can be accepted. Please do not dump any other items at these drop-off locations.

Metro Public Works is accepting applications from neighborhood groups for Traffic Calming from January 4 through January 29. Applicants from last January and July will be re-entered in the process. If there are any changes from previous applications, neighborhoods can email the traffic calming program manager, Derek Hagerty. Projects will be evaluated based on traffic count, speed, and incident data so that the most dangerous areas can be addressed first. Neighborhoods that qualify will be considered for lowered speed limits, speed humps, chicanes, traffic calming circles, and other traffic calming infrastructure. To learn more about the traffic calming program visit the Public Works website. Because of the current budget constraints, the program is currently under a spending freeze; Public Works may not be collecting data and selecting neighborhoods directly after the application period closes, but processing will resume once the pandemic economic slow-down begins to resolve. Stop sign and sidewalk requests are separate and not included in the traffic calming program. Neighbors can request those through the hubNashville website, by calling 311, and working with Council Members.

Brush Pick-up starts for Area 4 ( Donelson, Airport, Percy Priest, Northeast Antioch ) on December 8, Area 5 (Antioch, Cane Ridge, Paragon Mills) December 14, Area 6 (Brentwood, Crieve Hall, Grassmere, Abbay Hall, Sidco, WeHo ) December 18 and Area 7 (Edgehill, 12th South, Battlemont, Green Hills ) December 29. Remember that brush has to pulled feet away from fences and utility poles so the grapple arm can get to it. The schedule for each area can be found at the Nashville.gov website.

Nashville Tree Conservation Corps 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. Ordering deadline is January 10 for February 1 delivery. For more information, visit the NCTT page.

Metro has over 75 different volunteer boards and commissions that help with the governance of the city taking full advantage of citizen engagement and expertise. Residents of Davidson County are encouraged to participate in everything from the Agricultural Extension Board to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Nominations can be submitted by Council Members to the Mayor’s Office for consideration. The Mayor’s Office whittles the list down and final approval is by Council vote. Descriptions of all the boards and commissions can be found here. There are openings coming up on the Solid Waste Region Board. If you are interested in serving, please send me a resume with a brief explanation of your qualifications and why you would like to serve.

As we enter the holiday season, I hope everyone is staying safe and coming up with creative ways to celebrate while observing social distancing. Vaccines should be officially approved this month, and health care and other front-line workers should be the first to be offered protection. We are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and a return to normal seems possible in 2021. It has been a tough year for businesses and families, and it will be empowering to start a new year with better possibilities. I am grateful for everyone in Nashville who rolled with the difficult requirements to minimize loss of life, and I look forward to seeing the recovery begin. I am always eager to hear new ideas from everyone on how to make Nashville a great place for everyone. Please contact me at burkley.allen@nashville.gov or 615-383-6604.

Wishing everyone Happy Holidays!

Regards,
Burkley Allen
Metro Council At-Large

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