I’m inviting all adventurous souls to Try Transit with me on the way to the Downtown Presbyterian Waffle Shop on Dec 1. No need to worry about parking downtown. Join me on Thursday, December 1, for a round-trip to downtown Nashville aboard WeGo’s Route 8 bus along 8th Avenue South. Learn about WeGo transit services in Nashville, guided by a representative from WeGo, including an explanation of the new fare system “QuickTicket.” Once we get downtown, you can also take part in the annual holiday Downtown Waffle Shop – a 98 year tradition benefiting Fishes and Loaves, Downtown Presbyterian’s food pantry. Waffle Shop is a complete breakfast with waffles, grits, a choice of sausage or Hattie B’s hot (or mild) Chicken and your choice of Frothy Monkey Coffee or spiced tea. The bus ride is free of charge. Optional waffle breakfast is a $15 donation benefiting the Fish and Loaves ministry. Meet promptly at 10:45 a.m. at the 100 Oaks bus stop behind Ross Dress for Less to board the inbound bus, which will depart at approximately 10:53 a.m. We will arrive at WeGo Central around 11:19 a.m. For those not staying for the breakfast, the first return trip will depart Central at 11:35 a.m. If you are staying for the breakfast or to enjoy downtown on your own, use your new bus riding skills and the complimentary day pass to return to 100 Oaks at your own convenience.
Metro Council is sponsoring community meetings all around the county to provide information about a proposed New Titan’s Stadium and how it would be funded. The first two, at East High School and the Southeast Community Center were well attended and included substantive community input on all sides of the issue. The schedule for the remainder of the meetings is Dec 1 6:00 pm North Police Precinct Dec 7 6:00 pm Bellevue Regional Community Center Dec 12 6:00 pm Hermitage Police Precinct
The information presented can be viewed at Council Stadium Resource site . In a nutshell, the current lease obligates the city to maintain the facility in First Class conditions, a definition with room for interpretation. Estimates on the cost of doing the needed renovations range from $300 million to $1.8 billion. Regardless of where on that spectrum the cost lies, it comes from local tax payer dollars. In addition, facility maintenance is currently being paid for out by property tax dollars and general sales tax, and the remaining $30 million on the original bond issues comes from property tax and general sales tax dollars. The proposed new stadium is estimated to cost $2.1 billion. The lease under consideration shifts the cost from property tax and general sales tax to tourist taxes and football related sources:
- $840 million from the Titans, NFL and PSLs. Titans cover cost overruns and future maintenance and capital expenses
- $500 million from a one-time State contribution (for a domed stadium only)
- $760 million from Sports Authority revenue bonds repaid by
- New 1% hotel tax (for a new stadium only)
- Sales tax from stadium sales
- 50% of sales tax in a 130 acre area around the stadium
- $3 stadium ticket tax
There are still important details to be worked out about infrastructure needs and costs and how affordable housing and other community benefits will be guaranteed. Those are being vigorously discussed by the council and administration and closely watched by key community groups. The East Bank vision plan has laid out clear requirements for infrastructure and housing affordability that are referenced in the development plan.
Brush Pick-up starts for
- Area 4 ( Donelson, Airport, Percy Priest, Northeast Antioch) on December 5,
- Area 5 (Antioch, Cane Ridge, Paragon Mills) December 13,
- Area 6 (Brentwood, Crieve Hall, Grassmere, Abbay Hall, Sidco, WeHo) December 20,
- Area 7 (Edgehill, 12th South, Battlemont, Green Hills) December 27
- Area 8 (Green Hills, Hillsboro West End, Belmont Hillsboro, Percy Warner, Devonshire) December 30.
Remember that brush has to pulled away from fences and utility poles so the grapple arm can get to it. For neighbors who are not on the December schedule, Metro offers free brush disposal for Davidson County residents (pick-up truck loads only, no trailers) at east and west Living Earth locations and at the Ezell Pike Convenience Center. The scheduled and more information can be found at https://www.nashville.gov/Public-Works/Waste-and-Recycling/Brush-Yard-Waste-Collection/Brush-Routes.aspx
This year it is especially important for everyone to get a flu shot to lower the chance that hospitals get overwhelmed by this year’s combination of flu, RSV, and COVID-19 cases. Some cities have already had to set up tent hospitals to handle overflow. Vaccinations can reduce the spread and the severity of all three of these respiratory illnesses. Flu shots are available at most drug stores and from Metro Public Health at the following locations:
- East Nashville Public Health Center, 1015 East Trinity Lane, (615) 862-7916
- Lentz Public Health Center, 2500 Charlotte Avenue, (615) 340-5607
- Woodbine Public Health Center, 224 Oriel Avenue, (615) 862-7940
Shots are around $35, and many insurance policies cover the cost. Some drugs stores are offering free shots.
Project Warm at Nashville General Hospital is once again asking for help to provide warm clothing to patients when they leave the hospital. Neighbors can provide new coats, ponchos, sleeping bags, hoodies, flannels, sweat pants and men’s tennis shoes (size 10 and above) for women and men. at 1818 Albion Street or mail cash donations online at nashgenfoundation.org.
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 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.
NDOT (Nashville Department of Transportation) was officially formed a year ago to focus on improving Nashville’s streets, sidewalks, and bikeways to make transportation safer for everyone. NDOT’s traffic calming program works with neighborhoods to add features to lower speeds on local streets. To provide a fair evaluation of the very high number of neighborhoods desiring to participate, applications for traffic calming are accepted only during specified times. NDOT will be accepting applications from neighborhood groups for the next round of traffic calming in early 2023. 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. Applicants from previous rounds will be re-entered in the process. if there are any changes from previous applications, neighborhoods can contact the traffic calming program manager, Derek Hagerty, directly at email@example.com. To learn more about the traffic calming program visit the NDOT traffic calming website 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.
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 deadlines are January 2, 2023 for delivery the week of January 16, 2023; January 29, 2023 for delivery the week of February 13, 2023; and February 26, 2023 for delivery the week of March 20, 2023. After January 29th, 2023 NTCC will not offer any early spring blooming trees such as Redbud, Dogwood, or blooming cherry tree varieties in order to avoid transplant shock of these early spring bloomers. The sooner you can get spring blooming trees in the ground, the better! For more information, visit the NTCC 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. In addition a new initiative to make it easier for Nashvillians to express interest to serve on Metro Boards and Commissions, and for the first time ever, will compile and reuse demographic data from those groups online. Metro has launched an online portal that creates a streamlined and centrally located questionnaire process for Davidson County residents. The portal is part of a new internal data system designed to allow Metro Government to better manage the 70+ active Boards & Commissions on which more than 680 residents actively serve the community. The new portal can be accessed under any board website. In addition to easing the questionnaire process and improving management of interested residents, the overall appointment process will be modernized by automated to notify Metro Government of upcoming seat vacancies in advance so that appointments can coincide with terms ending and to gather demographic information for real-time monitoring of the diversity levels of each board and commission. This is another important facet of Metro’s continuing efforts to increase diversity across government. As openings come up, the Mayor’s Office will select from applicants, with final approval by Council vote. Descriptions of all the boards and commissions can be found on the website. There are openings coming up on the Solid Waste Region Board. If you are interested in serving, please check the website. You and also send me a resume with a brief explanation of your qualifications and why you would like to serve so I can support your nomination.
Metro Water Services has announced a scheduled water rate increase of 3% in January as part of the 2019 rate study and realignment plan. Rates are set to increase annually at 3% through 2025, and then the increase will be tied to the consumer price index. For more information, visit the Metro Water website
At our most recent meeting, the Metro Council passed BL2022-1412, which expanded the area in Nashville where parking minimums are not specified by the zoning code. In most of Nashville, tables in the Metro Code spell out how many parking spaces are required for different types of residential and commercial properties. In the heart of downtown, guided by the Downtown Code, Metro Planning has left the decision of how much parking to provide up to the developer for many years. Parking has been provided for almost all new projects, including some 5000 new spaces, but the quantity has been determined by the market, rather than the Planning chart. In 2020, BL2020-117 extended this flexibility to all properties fronting multi-modal corridors within the Urban Zoning Overlay (UZO is the old city of Nashville, generally inside I-440/I-24 loop). I have asked the Planning Department to provide data on the parking provisions for new developments since this was enacted. They are still working their way through a very tedious process to gather that information, but the trend so far is that parking has continued to be provided. This latest bill further extends the area with no specified parking minimum to the whole UZO. This is a complicated issue; on one hand requiring more parking can reduce the tree canopy, increase stormwater run-off, and increase housing prices and small business rent. On the other, not providing enough parking can lead to overflow parking on neighborhood streets – blocking driveways, mailboxes, and brush piles. Because of concerns expressed by neighbors, I am working with NDOT on enhancing the residential permit parking program to provide additional protection to residents and further incentives for businesses to provide adequate parking.
Does your child know how to call in 911 in an emergency? Sponsored by the Metro Nashville Emergency Communications Board, Rescue Rex was introduced in 1992 to teach pre-k through 2nd grade MNPS student when and how to call 911. Free of charge, Rex travels throughout Davidson County to perform a 30-minute skit complete with audience interaction, singing, and dancing. The Rescue Rex program is designed to revisit schools with a skit that changes each year to keep students engaged. Each appearance also includes a themed coloring book, printed in both English and Spanish, to distribute at the schools. Rex is available for community event appearances in addition to his appearances inside MNPS schools! Rex performs in person, but there is a virtual show available to share with interested parties. For more information, check out rescuerex.com
The Financial Empowerment Center is looking for volunteers for VITA Tax preparation. VITA, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance was created by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to provide free tax preparation and electronic filing for low- to moderate-income taxpayers using community partners and volunteers. Each year, VITA volunteers help thousands of individuals and families prepare their taxes in middle Tennessee. The United Way provides in-person locations in 8 counties and virtually for the state of Tennessee. Last year the coalition led by United Way and the Financial Empowerment Center prepared 8,900 returns with just around 270 volunteers returning $11.7M in total federal refunds to the community at no cost to taxpayers. To volunteer, go to the United Way website
As we enter the holiday season, I am always eager to hear new ideas on how to make Nashville a great place for everyone. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-383-6604.
Wishing everyone Happy Holidays!
Metro Council At-Large