Mayor Karl Dean’s administration released a preview of the capital spending plan to be filed tomorrow, highlighted by $156 million for schools and $30 million for riverfront redevelopment.
It will be the first capital spending plan released by Dean. Last year he froze all new capital projects and then didn’t release a spending plan in the summer months, as previous Mayor Bill Purcell had done.
When the economy took a turn last year, it further delayed finalizing the plan and prompted Dean to start from scratch.
“It has been two years since the city has approved a capital spending plan, and this will be the first for my administration,” Dean said. “It is important, even during difficult economic times, for a city to invest in its infrastructure and facilities needed for our citizens. But given the current economic environment, it’s more important than ever for our investments to be made wisely and support our priorities and our community’s greatest needs.”
Riverfront redevelopment was a key focus of the projects released by Dean’s office. Included in riverfront projects will be a water Adventure Play Park, redeveloping the NABRICO building, an east bank river lawn, a new riverfront redevelopment district, the First and Broadway overlook, a city wharf and a pioneer walk on the west bank.
The Adventure Play Park was a sense of contention for District 6 Councilman Mike Jameson and East Nashville residents, who feared Dean might move the park to the second phase of redevelopment. Dean stuck with the original plan and kept the park in the first phase.
“I don’t think I’m overestimating the significance of this to say it was enormously important to folks on both sides of the river,” Jameson said. “The downtown neighborhood groups, as well as East Nashville neighborhood groups, and for that I’m grateful for the mayor’s decision.
“This is a decision that will have an impact for decades. An upgrade to the city’s riverfront has been something we needed for a long, long time and I think this is a historic moment.”
Of the $156 million provided for schools projects, $63 million will be for new projects with an emphasis on adding classrooms to replace portable buildings at elementary schools.
The capital spending plan will also include $30 million for public safety, featuring a new Metro Police DNA crime lab and a new west Davidson County police precinct.
Dean also committed $37 million for the Metro Transit Authority, including $22 million for infrastructure to develop a citywide Bus Rapid Transit system beginning on Gallatin Road.
The plan also includes $60 million for public works projects, including $6 million for new and improved bikelanes and sidewalks.
“Walk/Bike Nashville appreciates Mayor Dean’s clearly sincere commitment to making Nashville a more livable city through bicycle and pedestrian friendly initiatives,” said Freddie O’Connell, president of advocacy group Walk/Bike Nashville.
To view the capital spending plan preview, click on attachment below.
|capital spending plan.pdf||128.56 KB|