NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — It’s our turn. That’s how community leaders in Bordeaux and North Nashville feel about deciding how to spend some government funding in their neighborhoods.
The office of Nashville Mayor John Cooper allocated $2 million in funds to be spent in the Bordeaux/North Nashville community through what’s called Participatory Budgeting. Residents proposed ideas that will be narrowed down by community leaders and brought back to residents to vote on projects they want to see funded in the community. Only Bordeaux/North Nashville residents will vote on the final ideas.
“I’m thankful and I will say it’s our turn, you know. East Nashville has had its development and growth. West Nashville has had their development growth, South Nashville has had their development and growth and now North Nashville, and it’s nice that the city is stepping up to assist us and help us be able to see some development in our community,” said Davidson County General Sessions Court Judge Rachel Bell.
Bell is serving as chair of the steering committee, and she and her family have lived in the Bordeaux/North Nashville area for four generations.
“We just want to make sure that the rules are followed, and that we actually do this justice and don’t take this process lightly,” Bell said. “I want to see my community grow. I want to see my community feel like other communities that I’ve seen in my lifetime. I went to Hillsboro high school, I’ve seen Green Hills from the early 1990s to what it is now.”
Longtime residents feel the community lacks infrastructure and resources and has been overlooked for a number of years.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for the community to get involved because they always wonder what’s happening with our money, how are they spending our dollars,” said Ruby Baker, President of the Bordeaux Hills Residential Association. “Some would argue that $2 million is not a lot. But we’ll take $2 million. I think it’s enough to start a good pilot program.”
She said some of the infrastructure projects residents would like to see include better stormwater drainage, a few smaller neighborhoods would want to have better street signs, and sidewalks are a big concern. There are parts of Bordeaux/North Nashville where residents feel it’s not safe to walk alongside traffic, especially for children. They’d like to see the walkability of their neighborhoods improved as one aspect of improving safety. Her neighborhood in particular wants more traffic calming measures.
“Speed bumps, speed humps, or whatever the measure they can put in place to try to slow the traffic,” she explained.
Once the ideas for the participatory budgeting process are narrowed down and voted on by residents leaders are aiming to start the work in January. CLICK HERE to learn more about the participatory budgeting process.