NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Mayor John Cooper has released his capital spending plan with a major focus on schools and transportation improvements without additional tax increases.
The mayor’s office says the plan has a budget of $474.6 million going toward education and transportation needs.
“We are a growing city with growing needs,” Mayor Cooper said. “This plan helps us catch up on maintenance needs while prioritizing our students’ schools more than ever before. These critical investments in our city’s future are possible because we’re now financially stable as a city for the first time in years.”
A record $191 million will go toward Metro Nashville Public Schools for construction, expansion and repairs.
Included in the investment are $100 million going toward the building of the long-awaited new Hillwood High School in Bellevue, upgrades to HVAC units made even more critical by the COVID-19 pandemic and funding toward two schools located in Cane Ridge. Specifically, $4.2 million will go toward phase one of a new Cane Ridge Middle School and $18.8 million will be used for a 24-classroom expansion at Cane Ridge High School. The remaining $67.8 million will go to maintenance and repairs in 45 schools in the MNPS district.
The plan also has $122 million going to transportation investments and will distributed in the following way:
- $21 million to repair 31,500 feet of sidewalk and build more than 2,500 feet of new sidewalk
- $2 million to build an estimated 16 new bus shelters in 12 districts
- $30 million to pave more than 180 “lane miles” across the city
- $2.5 million for traffic calming projects in 24 neighborhoods
- $7.5 million for smart traffic management projects to shorten commutes on some of Nashville’s busiest roads
Below are more areas where money will be spent on infrastructure.
- Nearly $20 million to mitigate stormwater flooding in neighborhoods
- $25 million for the city’s fleet
- $15 million for essentials like aerial ladder and pump trucks to fight fires in high-rise structures and remote areas
- $10 million for other heavy fleet, like landscaping vehicles for Metro Parks
- $6.5 million for upgrades to the city’s emergency radio system. The Christmas Day bombing demonstrated the critical nature of this system.
- $8 million for heating and roofing repairs to aging city buildings
- More than $1 million for classroom flooring, sprinklers and other repairs at Head Start early education facilities
- $7.5 million to upgrade Metro Police technology, like automated fingerprint identification and crime lab tools
The plan also includes $14 million to build a new Fire Station #2 and $15 million for a new police precinct serving the Antioch area.
“There is always a lot of conversation and thought that comes into play to when deciding where we locate a fire station,” said Director Chief William Swann.“We know because of run volume, the growth and the potential growth in the downtown area it will be a great benefit to have station 2 back at home. This will also benefit Germantown And North Nashville residents.”
“A new Southeast Precinct will greatly complement the police department’s mission to work closely and collaboratively with neighborhoods to address specific problems and concerns,” said police chief John Drake.
Click here to read the full breakdown of the spending plan.