Mayor John Cooper announces Capital Spending Plan, includes addressing juvenile crime

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN)- Mayor John Cooper introduced his spending plan, which focuses on funding more education and transportation improvements throughout the city.

“Nashville’s population increased by nearly 100,000 residents in the last decade. We’re a growing city with growing needs,” said Mayor Cooper.

SERVING YOUNG PEOPLE

One of Mayor Cooper’s priorities is focusing on investing in our youth. He said watching teen after teen being charged with serious and sometimes deadly crimes, is a cry for help.

Davidson County Juvenile Justice Center_404407
Pictured: Davidson County Juvenile Justice Center, located in Downtown Nashville

“Every night you see the need. Every night you see the need on TV. Okay, let’s address that need,” said Mayor Cooper. “Crime every night, it’s just not acceptable where we are but with Judge Calloway’s leadership in a different direction, let’s just say. I think we have the ability to make a lot of progress, that will require money.”

The Mayor has projected $30 million from his new Capital Spending Plan will go towards serving young people and their families. He has plans for creating a new 14-acre campus that will be located on Brick Church Pike, near public transportation and community organizations. The new facility will be home to green space, sports facilities and Davidson County’s Juvenile Court.

“We’ve understood that the current facility is not appropriate. It’s not able to serve the need, and it always had some problems with it. It was too small when it was built,” explained Mayor Cooper.

Judge Calloway’s team works with an estimated 80,000 young people and their families annually.

“We’re going to be able to intervene with families and youth more effectively with more nonprofits, you’re going to have better outcomes because you’ve created an environment where you’re really dealing with the problem,” said Mayor Cooper.

TRANSPORTATION

Transportation has been a recent heated debate, focused on transportainment and pedestrian deaths. The new plan focuses on building and outfitting a transportation management center, with a $2 million price tag, to reduce drive times by better coordinating traffic signals.

Another $5 million will go towards advancing lighting, crosswalk and other safety improvements under the Mayor’s “Vision Zero Commitment” to eliminate traffic and pedestrian deaths.

party bus transportainment
(Photo: WKRN)

This week, Metro Council approved the first of its kind, regulations on owners and operators of party busses and wagons. The new rules will allow the allowing the Metro Transportation and Licensing Commission to decide who can and cannot operate and maintain a permit process.

“We can’t lose our international reputation on the basis of some bad operators in that field that most residents aren’t that fond of, to begin with, but that safety, that drunkenness, that noise, yea I’m proud of the Council and we need to get on it,” said Mayor Cooper.

Other improvements include:

  • 25 traffic calming projects on residential streets
  • Paving roughly 285 lane miles of roadway
  • Repairing bridges and culverts at 61 sites
  • Upgrades to bus stops and shelter
  • Replacing 19 buses, plus funds to run more buses during peak ridership hours
  • New sidewalks, sidewalk repairs and new bikeways

EDUCATION

Mayor Cooper’s plans include early work on four new or renovated elementary schools at Antioch, Percy Priest, Haywood and Paragon Mills, helping to move students out of portable classrooms, and into brand new buildings.

The $134 million projects will recreate new, right-sized buildings that will address overcrowding problems within the Metro District.

Hillwood High School_357210
Hillwood High School is set to open in August 2023, in the Bellevue area.

“Out student, teacher, and the community we serve are excited to see progress being made and grateful for Mayor Cooper’s commitment to complete this project on time, so we can experience our new, modern learning environment,” said Dr. Stephen Shaeffer, Principal of Hillwood High School.

$29 million will be used to complete Hillwood High School in Bellevue, with the plan to open its doors in August 2023. The new school will serve 1,600 students from 34 Nashville districts and replace the current facility that has been standing for more than 60 years.

The spending plan will fully fund Metro Schools’ request for repairs and upkeep at more than 100 facilities citywide. The projects will include playground fixes, computer replacements and new buses.

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