Mayor Cooper releases trimmed spending plan amid city’s financial issues

Nashville 2020
Mayor John Cooper

(WKRN Video)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nashville Mayor John Cooper released his first Capital Spending Plan for the year 2020, noting that the plan is much smaller than in previous years due to significant financial issues the city is currently facing.

Highlights of the new plan include $4.6 million matching funds to match federal and state grant funding for Metro Transit; $12.2 million for paving, sidewalks, and roadway improvements; $17.2 million to complete construction of the Sheriff’s Office headquarters; funding for two new fire stations, to replace the Health Department’s Woodbine Clinic, and a new mounted patrol barn facility; as well as $12 million for two new police helicopters to phase out aging helicopters with safety concerns.

Metro Schools is getting $22.9 million to replace Goodlettsville Elementary School and $4.8 million for new school buses and fleet vehicles. Other funding to Metro Schools includes $1 million for roof repair, $6.9 million in technology improvements, $7.4 million in electrical upgrades, and $20.7 million in heating and air conditioning improvements.

The projects reportedly represent the city’s most urgent needs.

“As we navigate difficult financial times, the city faces urgent needs that must be met in order to maintain basic services and public safety,” said Mayor Cooper. “This is a fiscally responsible spending plan, and I’m proud we can make these much-needed investments, including half to our public schools.”

The Mayor’s Office reports that capital spending plans over the last four years averaged around $441.8 million. This year, the Mayor’s Office is only spending $154 million total. Metro Schools is getting an additional $12 million in funding this year than in previous years.

“It is wonderful to have a mayor who understands the importance of great facilities to providing a high-quality, equitable education to every child,” said Dr. Adrienne Battle, interim director of schools. “The investments proposed by Mayor Cooper in the areas identified by our staff and School Board are critical to maintaining great educational and working environments for our students and staff.”

Here’s the full breakdown of the Mayor’s spending plan:

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