Christmas Tree-Cycling Recycling Christmas trees into mulch, rather than putting them in the trash, keeps them out of landfills, helps save Metro the cost of disposal fees, and provides ground cover for trails in our parks. Trees can be taken until February 11 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 of Tennessee’s operating hours are Monday-Friday 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Saturday 8:00 a.m. to noon)
Trees must be cleaned of all ornaments, lights, wire, string, flocking, and other decor before bringing them to be tree-cycled. No artificial trees can be accepted. Please do not dump any other items at these drop-off locations.
Trash & Recycling Update Metro’s trash pick-up service has experienced several challenges due to the bankruptcy settlement of Red River Waste Industries, supply chain complications for trash truck parts, and the massive debris removal needs in Kentucky from the fall tornadoes diverting many waste hauling efforts. Metro is committed to dependable pick-up of all trash and has therefore redirected recycling trucks to temporarily serve as trash haulers. Therefore, curbside pick-up of recycling is temporarily suspended, at least through mid-January. Metro Waste Services is encouraging people not to put recycling in the trash, but to follow the four Rs of waste reduction: Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle. Refuse to buy products with excessive packaging; reduce disposable packaging by reusing containers and bags; recycle cardboard, aluminum and steel cans, and plastic bottles. Recycling can be taken to any of the ten drop-off centers or four convenience centers around town. Metro will be providing extra pick-ups to ensure that containers have space available. Drop-off locations are Bellevue Park and Ride, Cane Ridge High School, Granbery Elementary School, Hillsboro High School, Joelton Middle School, Lakewood City Hall, McGavock High School, the Old Ben West Library Building, TSU, and Whites Creek High School. Convenience Centers are at 943A Dr Richard Adams Dr, 3254 Ezell Pk, 1019 Omohundro Pl, and 939A Anderson Lane. The Urban Services District Trash and Recycling Schedule will be adjusted for MLK Day, January 17. Trash pick-up will be shifted one day. Monday pick-up will happen Tuesday, and so on for each day after that. For more information visit the Metro Nashville Waste Services website.
Brush Pick-up begins January 4 in Area 5 (Antioch, Cane Ridge, Paragon Mills), January 10 in Area 6 (Brentwood, Crieve Hall, Grassmere, Abbay Hall, Sidco, WeHo), January 13 in Area 7 (Edgehill, 12th South, Battlemont, Green Hills) , January 18 in Area 8 (Green Hills, Hillsboro West End, Belmont Hillsboro, Percy Warner, Devonshire) , January 24 in Area 9 (Bellevue, West Meade, Hillwood, White Bridge, Cherokee Park, Richland West End, Sylvan Park, Sylvan Heights, Hadley, Fisk Watkins Park), and January 31 in Area 10 (Whites Bend, Charlotte Park, Cockrill Bend, Nations, TSU, College Heights, Germantown, Buena Vista).
The Nashville Department of Transportation (NDOT) has issued the draft version of the city’s Vision Zero Action Plan to strive to eliminate traffic deaths in Nashville. Vision Zero is a research-based strategy to end all traffic related deaths and severe injuries. The Nashville Vision Zero Action Plan evaluates traffic safety in Nashville today, considers community input, and includes goals, strategies, and performance measures to eliminate traffic-related deaths and severe injuries. According to the Tennessee Department of Safety, the number of people killed while driving or walking in Nashville every year has increased since 2016, with a record high expected to be set in 2021. Traffic crashes and deaths are preventable. We need to prioritize infrastructure and behavior change that will reduce crashes and fatalities, starting with Nashville’s most dangerous places for walking, bicycling, and driving. The research team wants input from the public as the plan is finalized. The draft will be out for public comment until Feb 15. More information is available here.
Budget Information Sessions - As Chair of the Metro Budget and Finance Committee this year, I will be hosting a virtual Metro Budget 101 Series over the next few months along with Vice-Chair Zulfat Suara. The sessions, beginning at 6PM, will provide transparency and education for the general public concerning Metro Nashville Davidson County’s revenues, finances, and the budget process. The public is invited to attend in person in the Council Chambers at the Metro Courthouse or to watch on-line at the links below. Questions from the public on the session’s topic may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5:00 PM on the day before the session. The first two sessions in December focused on where city revenue comes from. The January sessions will focus on how funds are allocated.
- January 5 – Metro Nashville Public Schools: School Board Member Freda Player-Peters; Chief Operating and Financial Officer Chris Henson
- January 13 – Public Safety (Metro Nashville Police Department, Sheriff’s Office, Juvenile Court Judge)
- January 20 – NDOT, Metro Parks, Health and Social Services: Nashville Department of Transportation Interim Director Faye Dimassimo; Metro Parks Director Monique Odom; Nashville General Hospital, Dr Webb: and Housing Hannah Davis
- January 27 – Debt Service and General Governmen: Metro Planning CIB, Greg Claxton; Metro Finance Kelly Flannery
COMMUNITY PANEL DISCUSSIONS
- February 2 – Community Panel Discussion
- February 10 – Expert Panel Discussion
- February 17 – How the Budget Process works
- February 25 – Participatory Budget
This series of sessions will provide helpful information, and I hope citizens will participate as we work through this upcoming budget year. Metro Nashville and Davidson County residents can view these meetings on Metro Nashville Network (MNN) by tuning in to Comcast channel 3 or AT&T Uverse channel 99. MNN will stream live coverage at stream.nashville.gov, on the MNN Roku channel, as well as www.facebook.com/MetroNashvilleNetwork. The first two sessions can be watched on YouTube here and here.
A water rate increase of 3% is scheduled for January as part of the 2019 rate study and realignment plan. After eleven years of no rate increases, Water and Sewer rates were restructured in 2019 following an in-depth cost of service study based on industry standards and best practices. The current rate structure was designed to be equitable and affordable, and to encourage wise water use. Excessive water use beyond what is typically necessary for cooking and cleaning is charged at a higher rate to encourage customers to conserve water. The structure includes multi-year rate increases from 2020 - 2024 to secure funding for critical water and sewer projects. Starting in 2025, customers will see a small cpi-indexed increase in water and sewer rates each year to ensure future funding. More information is available on the Metro Nashville Water, Sewer and Stormwater page.
Nashville Tree Conservation Corps Tree Sale continues through the spring. For around $200 property owners can get a 1.5 inch caliper tree delivered and planted. Trees reduce storm water run-off, heat island effect, and greenhouse gases; provide wildlife habitat and food; increase property aesthetics and values; and they are fun to climb. Nashville has committed to increasing our tree canopy for all these reasons, and individual homeowners can help in the effort. Orders placed by January 9 will be delivered the week of January 24. More information is available at https://www.nashvilletreeconservationcorps.org/tree-sale. For those on a smaller budget with a longer time horizon, the Tennessee Environmental Council is offering saplings to be delivered in March. Check their website here.
Openings on Metro Boards and Commissions – Metro has over 75 boards and commissions that use expert citizens on a volunteer basis to make recommendations and rulings on everything from beer permits to zoning requests. The Mayor’s office appoints members of these boards with final approval by the Metro Council. Registered voters in Davidson County who are interested in serving on a board can submit a resume to me or to their district council member to be relayed to the Mayor’s office for consideration. Openings are coming up for the Community Oversight Board and the Sports Authority. For a full list of all boards and commissions, see the Boards and Commissions website.
Nashville Department of Transportation Traffic Calming program application period is open January 3 through 29. Neighborhoods that would like to be considered for active traffic calming measures like speed humps, traffic circles, chicanes, or intersection bulb-outs, can submit an application to have their need evaluated on the basis of traffic volume and speed. The neighborhoods that score quantitatively highest will be first in line for design and implementation. Neighborhoods are encouraged to resubmit at each semi-annual application opportunity as the worst issues are addressed, and NDOT can work its way down the list. More information is available here.
N2N Emerging Neighborhood Leaders Academy: Starting in February, the academy is for residents, with a passion for their neighbors and neighborhood, who show potential for being elected an officer in their neighborhood organization. Newly elected officers (serving six months or less) are also welcome. Classes begin February 2 through March 6 from 6:30 – 8 pm on Wednesday evenings. Class topics include:
- Intro to Metro Government
- Working with your Metro Council Member
- How to organize and facilitate a neighborhood meeting
- Strategies for engaging Neighbors
Applications are due January 14 on the Neighbor 2 Neighbor website.
The Metro Council’s Budget and Health Committees had a special meeting with the Metro Health Department’s Division of Air Pollution Control to learn about the impact of ending the Automobile Emission Testing program. Vehicles are the greatest source of the pollutants that lead to smog, and smog is the pollution in Nashville that gets closest to a level that EPA has determined to be unhealthy. Smog is associated with heart disease, asthma, and other respiratory problems. However, cars and large transport trucks from outside the county account for the majority of the smog pollution, and the current testing program does not affect those vehicles. In light of tighter emission standards for car manufacturers and the limits of the current testing program, the diminishing impact on air quality from the drive-through testing no longer justifies the time and expense to Davidson County drivers. The Council is expected to pass a resolution on January 4, ending the emission testing program.
With the new omicron variant sweeping through Nashville, the number of new COVID-19 cases has shot up as high as last winter’s surge. Hospitalizations have not yet risen as dramatically and are almost exclusively of unvaccinated patients. The evidence indicates that being fully vaccinated and boosted is the best way to avoid serious illness and death. The guidelines for staying healthy remain the same – get vaccinated, avoid crowds, and wear a mask if you are around people outside your household.
The United Way is looking for volunteers to help low-income residents fill out income tax forms through their VITA program. Volunteers will be trained to help taxpayers overcome barriers to accessing their tax benefits.
- No experience necessary.
- Training to become IRS-certified begins in December.
- Work with a team of dedicated VITA volunteers.
- Choose the day, hours and location for volunteering.
- Volunteer remotely in the comfort of your home or at a VITA site.
- Various volunteer positions range from intake coordinator to greeter to tax preparer.
Sign up or get more information at the United Way website.
I hope everyone’s new year is off to a great start. I always want to know what is on your mind. Please contact me at email@example.com or 615-383-6604. Happy New Year!
Metro Council At-Large