Mayor Barry seeks $26M from reserves for new Metro projects

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Nashville Mayor Megan Barry (Photo: File / The Tennessean)

Mayor Megan Barry wants the Metro Council to approve $26 million from reserves to pay for a wide range of projects, including fleet maintenance, new books for libraries, body-worn cameras for police officers and recording equipment for Metro Council committee rooms.

Barry on Monday filed a council resolution to tap the city’s 4 percent reserve fund for the projects. The list also included $1 million for repairs at Nashville General Hospital and another $1 million for maintenance at the Knowles Assisted Living Facility and the Nashville Community Care & Rehabilitation Center at Bordeaux.

Metro puts aside 4 percent of all dollars collected in the Metro general fund each year to create a reserve fund that goes to Metro equipment or building repairs.

Barry’s list of projects also includes funding for playground equipment at Red Caboose Park in Bellevue, replacement vehicles for police and fire, and maintenance and equipment for fire halls and firefighters.

“These investments will go a long way towards promoting public health and safety while improving the overall quality of life for residents in Nashville,” Barry said in a statement. “Our Metro employees are working very hard to serve the residents of Nashville and keep up with the rapid growth of our city, and we need to ensure they have the equipment and facilities necessary to do their jobs well.”

The new $26 million for replacement equipment and upgrades would be in addition to a $288 million capital spending plan that Barry won approval for last month.

Barry’s capital spending plan and budget included a combined $23 million for body-worn and dashboard cameras for police officers. Barry wants to take an additional $4 million from the 4 percent reserve fund to pay for vehicle, laptop and printer upgrades that are needed for the cameras.

The largest expenditures in Barry’s new $26 million funding proposal are:

  • $11.3 million for the Department of General Services for Metro fleet replacement, new vehicle for beer board and codes inspectors, Knowles/Bordeaux deferred maintenance, equipment and repairs.
  • $4.5 million for Information Technology Services, including 800MHz radios and tower obstruction lighting, end-of-life replacements for telephones, network, server equipment and portable radios for police.
  • $4 million for the Metro Nashville Police Department for the first phase of vehicle, laptop and printer upgrades needed to support body-worn cameras.
  • $1.75 million for the Parks and Recreation Department for maintenance, new camera equipment and playground equipment at the Red Caboose Park.
  • $1 million for Nashville General Hospital for renovations, repairs and equipment.
  • $1 million for Nashville Public Library for books, periodicals and library materials.
  • $1 million for Metro Public Works for miscellaneous equipment.
  • $500,000 for the Metro Development and Housing Agency to go toward the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, which is owned by Metro.
  • $295,000 for the Department of Finance for new performance-based budgeting and Metro-wide upgrades to credit card machines.
  • $190,500 for the Metro Historical Commission to purchase and replace historical markers and computers for new staff.
  • $190,000 for the General Sessions Court for a digital recording system for all courtrooms.
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